Cairo-based Islamic fintech start-up Agel has concluded a pre-seed round, raising an undisclosed seven-figure amount from local and international investors.
The seed round was led by Plus Venture Capital, Seedstars International Ventures and Flat6labs, with SEEDRA Ventures, Banque Misr and angel investors participating.
Agel intends to use the proceeds from the funding round to support it securing a non-banking financial institution license as well as to fund product development and grow its domestic geographical footprint.
Founded in 2021 by CEO Abdelrahman Saeed and COO Ahmed El Sherbiny, Agel provides digital Shariah compliant financing products including a Murabahah product to local MSMEs. The start-up provides merchants with trade finance solutions, particularly invoice financing; and in its first year of operations, it is understood that Agel focused extensively on Egypt’s textiles industry.
“Since we launched, we have witnessed a remarkably positive response from the merchants. Our unique approach to finance for MSMEs has witnessed a significant increase in demand for our services. As we deepen our product capabilities, we are confident in introducing several more easy and convenient payment options to satisfy our clients. We look forward to establishing Agel as the preferred platform across Egypt and beyond,” Ahmed noted.
The start-up is currently working on launching a merchant co-branded banking card service in partnership with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Egypt and other value-added services.
According to Seedstars International Ventures’s general partner, Patricia Sosrdojojo, MSME lending only account for 6% of total loan portfolio of Egyptian banks, well below the 10—30% required and below the MENA’s 8% level. Agel is one of at least five fintech companies offering Halal solutions in Egypt, according to the IFN Islamic Fintech Landscape as at the 21st June 2023.