ICYMI fintech funding round-up: Payrails, Nexta, Malaa Technologies, & Playter
At FinTech Futures, we know that it can be easy to let funding announcements slip you by in this fast-paced industry. That’s why we put together our weekly In Case You Missed It (ICYMI) funding round-up for you to get the latest funding news.
Berlin, Germany-based Payrails, an operating system for payments and financial services, has raised $6.4 million in seed funding.
The round was led by Andreessen Horowitz with HV Capital, Delivery Hero CFO Emmanuel Thomassin, Flixbus founders Jochen Engert, André Schwämmlein, and Daniel Krauss as well as Dominik Richter, founder of HelloFresh, joining the round.
Payrails was founded in late 2021 by Orkhan Abdullayev, Emre Talay, and Nicolas Thouzeau, who previously built and scaled the fintech arm of Delivery Hero, one the world’s largest delivery platforms, across 30 countries.
With the funds raised, the start-up is launching its cloud-based, ledger-based operating system – Payrails OS – initially to the European market. It says it’s already started working with select clients.
The paytech says Payrails OS will “enable enterprises to build, operate, and scale payment acceptance and embed financial services, without the need for a costly and complex in-house infrastructure”.
The company will also grow its team from 30 to 100 people by the end of the year.
Nexta, a start-up banking platform in Cairo, Egypt, has secured $2.2 million in pre-seed funding. The round was led by Disruptech with the participation of international backers.
Nexta says it is launching “next-generation, lifestyle banking” for consumers.
The start-up’s offering includes a mobile banking app that comes with a Visa card. It will aggregate users’ existing payment cards and enable easy money transfers, among other features.
It has also secured a “strategic partnership” with “one of the largest state-owned banks in Egypt and Africa”.
The fintech was founded by Ibrahim Farag and Ahmed Hisham last year.
“Nexta pledges to provide a new and wholesome banking experience for numerous market segments and contribute as a significant player to the creation of the Egyptian era of digitisation,” Hisham states.
Malaa Technologies, a fintech start-up in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has raised SAR 6.4 million ($1.7 million) in its seed round.
The investment came from Impact46, Khawarizmi Ventures, Venture Souq, WealthWell, and several angels.
Founded in 2020 by Ali Alorainy and Faisal Alqarni, Malaa provides personal finance management (PFM) services and “aims to be the go-to when it comes to financial decision making whether it’s saving, loans, or investing.”
It has recently gained approval from the country’s regulator, SAMA, to utilise open banking.
“The Malaa team is a great example of aspiring entrepreneurs who took a bold step as the first fintech company to launch its services on top of open banking,” comments Abdulaziz Alturki, managing director of Khawarizmi Ventures.
Playter, a London, UK-based growth platform that helps start-ups scale quicker with buy now, pay later (BNPL) invoicing, has closed a $1.7 million seed funding round.
The round was co-led by Fin Capital and 1818 Ventures, with participation from RLC Ventures and investment network angels.
“Accessing funds for businesses can be a painful, complex, and time-consuming experience, but we’re here to fix that,” says founder and CEO Jamie Beaumont. The company was founded in 2021.
“We’ve designed this platform for businesses who want to convert their invoices into smaller, more manageable payments and take advantage of upfront discounts. We’ve effectively given businesses full control over how they use BNPL in their growth.”
For SMEs, Playter says it reduces a business’ burn rate, increases runway, and allows them to take control of all payment terms regardless of the supplier. Instead of businesses being only allowed to use BNPL for their online purchases, Playter will allow start-ups to use it on their own service expenses and free up capital that can be used to invest in growth.
SMEs can apply in just five minutes and access funds in as little as 24 hours from gaining access to the platform, the start-up adds. Furthermore, business owners keep full control with no dilution or restrictive debt.
Henry Cashin, head of Europe at Fin Capital, describes Playter as “the new generation of B2B embedded BNPL fintechs in the wake of the success of Klarna, Affirm, and Block/Afterpay”.