Egypt’s Mnzl raises $3.5 million for its asset-backed lending platform

Egyptian asset-backed lending platform Mnzl has raised $3.5 million in a funding round led by Africa-focused VC firms P1 Ventures and Ingressive Capital, and London-based Localglobe, it announced in a statement today. The round was also joined by 500 Global, Flat6labs, First Circle Capital, Enza Capital, Beenok, and some angel investors.

Mnzl was founded in 2023 by Sameh Saleh who previously founded and led Harmonica, an Egyptian matchmaking platform that was acquired by Match Group in 2019 and was later rebranded to Hawaya, before shutting down in 2023.

(500 Global (previously known as 500 Startups) and Flat6Labs, who joined this round, were investors in Sameh’s previous startup as well.)

Sameh has joined forces with Ahmed Dessouky, who has previously led engineering teams at several European startups, and Bassem Elshaer, who brings product experience from various leading financial institutions in Europe.

Mnzl, available as an Android and iOS app, enables users in Egypt to leverage their assets — homes or cars — as collateral to apply for loans. These loans which are generally known as secured loans (as they’re backed by an asset) can be requested and received in Mnzl’s digital wallet by completing the entire process online. The website doesn’t have any details on the terms or loan sizes, but a calculator available on it indicates that a user who owns a car worth EGP 500,000 (USD 10,500) and monthly income of EGP 25,000 (USD 525) can borrow up to EGP 325,000 ($6,830) from the platform.

“Because you are tapping into your own assets, you are able to withdraw larger amounts, for lower costs, with more flexible terms,” notes the website, adding that they guarantee to fulfill a customer’s financing needs in the shortest possible time.

“In Egypt, less than 10 percent of adults have accessed credit from financial institutions, most of those loans are unsecured, which by nature comes with a very restrictive access, or a much higher cost. This situation reflects a broader trend across Africa, where a lack of secured lending options contributes to high interest rates and restricted access to the majority of the population. Mnzl aims to tap into this substantial market by introducing a revolutionary wallet concept that allows asset owners to leverage their property and vehicles easily and securely to meet their financing needs,” stated the startup in a statement.

According to its website, Mnzl offers both conventional and Islamic lending products.

The startup claims to have secured the necessary permits from the Financial Regulatory Authority of Egypt and has already gained some traction.

Sameh Saleh, the co-founder and CEO of Mnzl, commenting on the occassion, said, “By enabling Egyptians to safely harness their own assets—homes or cars—for financial needs, we at Mnzl are going beyond a mere adjustment; it’s a complete revolution in credit access. This shift not only empowers families by providing financial leverage but also contributes to broader economic prosperity in the region.”

Hisham Halbouny, Managing Partner at P1 Ventures, comments: “Mnzl’s approach to leveraging tangible assets for financial services is a game-changer, potentially setting a new standard for lending not just in Egypt but across emerging markets.”

Yvonne Bajela, Partner at LocalGlobe, adds: “Mnzl is precisely the kind of innovation that the financial sector in Egypt needs. By unlocking the financial value of real assets, Mnzl is set to empower millions of Egyptians, driving financial inclusion and economic growth in a way that has not been done before.”

Mnzl aims to use the funds to further develop its technology and market the product. Although the statement does not explicitly state it, it is likely that they will fund the loans, at least for now, from this money.

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