Investments

Dubai’s PointCheckout raises $600,000 seed to let users pay online with their reward points and air miles

Dubai-based fintech startup PointCheckout has raised $600,000 in seed funding from Kuwait’s Arzan VC, 500 Startups, Dubai Angel Investors, Hala Venture, and Dtec Ventures, the startup announced today.

Founded last year by Bashar Saleh and Tarek Ghobar, who’ve previously founded and led different startups and technology products in the region, PointCheckout is a payment gateway that enables users to use their reward points and air miles from different loyalty programs for online shopping at over 1,000 online merchants across MENA.

The startup gives reward programs the advantage of large redemption networks across the region, helping them increase user engagement, without having to handle any integration or change in their existing loyalty infrastructure. According to some estimates, over $100 billion worth of reward points went unredeemed worldwide, which suggests that there’s a big opportunity here for startups like PointCheckout.

PointCheckout, currently live in Jordan, will launch across GCC this year, starting with UAE & Saudi, Tarek Ghobar, co-founder of the startup told MENAbytes, adding that they’ve processed over 50 million points to date in Jordan, helping users pay for groceries, electronics, and many other things.

PointCheckout’s pitch to online merchants is simple: a new customer acquisition channel and access to over one million consumers regionally. And it seems to be working. They are currently in the process of partnering with some of the leading online players of the region in ecommerce, travel, food delivery, and music, to enable users to pay using their reward points and air miles on these platforms.

Bashar Saleh, co-founder and CEO of PointChekcout, commenting on the occasion, said, “Consumer priorities and expectations are continuously changing, and we can’t continue to use the same 10-year-old solutions to address this different outlook. Customers are online, on the move, and are extremely selective in how they are associated with a reward program. PointCheckout helps existing reward programs meet their members on any app or online store, creating more value for a bank or an airline’s brand.”

Tarek Ghobar, co-founder of PointCheckout, added, “Unlike vouchers, gift cards, or reward stores which lack flexibility and price competitiveness, customers shop directly at their favorite online stores and pay with points, or points plus their credit/debit cards, using PointCheckout. The best part for members is that PointCheckout works with the existing reward points they have, so no changes or conversions needed.”

Laith Zraikat, a Partner at Arzan VC, commenting on the investment, said, “Both the consumer loyalty and fintech industries are growing rapidly, and we feel the PointCheckout team is well equipped to bring new innovation to the market successfully.”

The startup that currently has its team based in two offices in Dubai & Amman, plans to use the investment to grow sales and operations team and further develop the technology.

Zubair Naeem Paracha

Founder at MENAbytes
A tech and startup enthusiast based in Riyadh. Zubair apart from leading MENAbytes is also building Qraar, a career discovery and development platform for millennials in MENA. He can be reached on Linkedin, Twitter or zubair [at] menabytes [dot] com.

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