Saudi fintech Hala raises fresh funds from private equity giant TPG

Riyadh-headquartered fintech Hala has secured fresh funding from one of the leading global private equity firms TPG, The Information reported last week. The startup has not announced this deal publicly yet. Its last disclosed financing round was a $6.5 million Series A in 2021 which was led by Saudi’s Impact46.

The specific details of the funding were not revealed but the report noted that Hala secured the funding earlier this year from the US-headquartered which has over $220 billion in assets under management and has invested in companies like Spotify, Airbnb, Box, Calm, and many more.

Founded in 2018 by Esam Alnahdi and Maher Loubieh, Hala was previously known as Halalah and started as one of the first mobile wallets in Saudi. It later pivoted to providing financial services to SMEs (mainly retail merchants), with the aim of becoming a bank for small- and medium-sized businesses in the Kingdom.

According to its website, Hala today offers SMEs a bank account, POS solutions (through a device and soft POS that turns any mobile into a POS terminal), and debit cards that come with expense management controls. Through these products, the startup is trying to make inbound and outbound payments easier for SMEs.

In addition to SMEs, Hala also caters to freelancers certified by the Saudi HR Ministry, providing them with bank accounts, debit cards, and payment acceptance solutions.

The Saudi startup claims that it serves more than 100,000 merchants with its POS solutions, driving an annual transaction volume exceeding $18 billion.

Hala last week also received a license from the Saudi Central Bank to provide debt-based crowdfunding solutions. The startup has had an Electronic Money Institute (EMI) license for years now. It was one of the first local fintechs to receive the license.

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