Egyptian payments startup Paymob raises $3.5 million to fuel its regional expansion

Cairo-based payment startup Paymob has raised $3.5 million investment in a round led by Dubai’s Global Ventures and Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank FMO with the participation of existing investor A15, it announced in a statement today to MENAbytes.

Founded in 2015 by Islam Shawky, Alain El Hajj and Mostafa El Menessy, Paymob enables online and offline merchants to accept payments from their customers using different products and solutions. For online merchants, Paymob offers a complete payment gateway that can be integrated into a merchant’s website or mobile app using its APIs. The payment gateway that comes with all the standard features also enables the merchants to receive recurring payments from their customers and offers installments too.

Its second online solution, payment links, enable merchants to receive payments by sharing a link with their customers. They can share the link with multiple customers (using social media or any other channel) to have them pay for a product or email customized invoices with the link to pay. Paymob’s product for offline retailers is a POS solution that comes with its own POS device enabling them to receive in-store card payments.

All of the Paymob’s products also allow the merchants to accept payments from their customers using different mobile wallets, kiosks and even loyalty programs (in exchange of points).

The startup in a statement claimed that its mobile wallets infrastructure processes more than 85 percent of the market share of the transactions in the Egyptian market. It also said that it is serving merchants across five different markets including Kenya, Pakistan and Palestine.

“Paymob is continuously investing in its infrastructure to cater for the digitization of the payment ecosystem by empowering thousands of local and global merchants such as Swvl, ElGouna, Tradeline, Befit, Gourmet and Metro market, serving millions of customers on a monthly basis with premium online and instore payment products,” said the statement.

(Its product is apparently being used in Kenya and Pakistan by Swvl as the company is present in both these markets. It is not clear if Paymob has other clients in these markets).

Islam Shawky, the co-founder and CEO of Paymob, commenting on the occasion, said, “In a world where consumers are currently adopting digital products in all aspects of their lives, now is the time to invest in Paymob products to empower the digital economy. These unprecedented times have proven the need for a robust digital payments infrastructure to serve the rising demand from all business types and sizes during the pandemic which resulted in a drastic increase of 450% increase in merchant onboarding rate since the beginning of Covid-19.”

The Egyptian startup plans to use the investment to accelerate its expansion to more markets in Africa and GCC which it said will help it solidify its position as one of the leading payment service providers in the region. The investment will also allow Paymob to empower the underserved SMES with improved and more accessible digital payment offerings.

Alain El-Hajj, the co-founder and COO of Paymob, said, “Paymob’s merchants and partners will benefit directly from this funding round as Paymob will ramp up investments in its core payments offering to better serve our existing base and better cater for the increasing demand. Empowering our merchants and partners networks in Egypt and Africa has and will always be at the heart and core of what we do at Paymob.”

Basil Moftah, General Partner at Global Ventures, said, “We are incredibly excited to partner with the Paymob team, as the need for financial inclusion is exacerbated by the current global pandemic. Led by a dynamic team, Paymob has a unique market position to offer integrated infrastructure solutions and payment services across a range of payment methods and channels.”

Jaap Reinking, Director Private Equity at FMO, said, “Paymob is an excellent fit with FMO’s Ventures Program based on its exceptional team, innovative payment solutions, and scalable fintech platform. In Egypt, Paymob contributes to one of the greatest digital transitions on the African continent – taking along underserved consumers and small businesses are at the heart of both Paymob and FMO’s mission.”

Karim Beshara, the chairman of A15 said, “Since our initial investment in Paymob, the team has made significant strides in addressing the major issue of financial inclusion in our region. It is rewarding to be involved in a business that facilitates the way people transact every day and maximizes the productivity of millions of people.”

The startup also paid a tribute to its late founding board member Khaled Bichara who had passed away in a tragic car accident earlier this year, “Khaled still is our role model and an icon to us and many generations to come. Paymob is where it is today due to his teachings, and we are lucky and honored to have had his trust and support. Today we dedicate this milestone to him,” said the founders.

Zubair Naeem Paracha
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