Tuesday, August 16, 2022
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ReportUAE digital banking start-up raises US$41 million to fund expansion; partners with...

UAE digital banking start-up raises US$41 million to fund expansion; partners with Saudi Islamic bank

UAE-based digital banking app YAP has raised US$41 million to back its growth and expansion plans, through an investment round led by Shariah compliant Saudi firm Aljazira Capital.

Other notable investments for this round came from Saudi conglomerate Abudawood Group, Saudi trading company ASTRA Group and Dubai-based investment firm Audacia Capital.

The funds will support the operations and product development of the start-up, which plans to complete its Series A round by the end of the year.

As part of its expansion plans, YAP has also started a partnership with Bank AlJazira to launch its consumer and business banking platforms in Saudi Arabia. Additionally, it has received regulatory approval in Pakistan and Ghana to offer similar services, and has plans to launch in Egypt soon as well.

The digital banking app’s features include money transfer, bill payments and spending analytics among others, with no minimum balance required for users to set up their account. The company plans to develop and roll out a multicurrency offering, equity trading, loans, products for children and households and buy-now-pay-later solutions through the YAP Store, the YAP Financial Marketplace and the YAP Hub.

Since it first launched in 2021, over 13,000 users have signed up for the YAP app.

“YAP continues to redefine the fintech sector in the region and our robust product development pipeline reflects the growing needs of our customers. The interest that we have received from investors shows that there is a strong demand for fintech products, and we remain committed to making digital banking enjoyable and easy for our customers,” said Marwan Hachem, the co-founder and group CEO of YAP. “There is incredible demand for fintech products in the region and we are well-placed to be a market leader to address these needs.”

YAP’s entry into the Saudi market is timely, as the Kingdom has recently launched its Fintech Strategy Implementation Plan, a strategy that aims to increase the number of companies operating in Saudi Arabia to 230 by 2025 and positioning itself as a leading country in the field of fintech. In July last year, the Saudi Central Bank granted digital banking licenses to two entities (STC Pay and a consortium led by Abdul Rahman bin Saad Al-Rashed & Sons Company) to conduct digital banking business in the Kingdom.

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