Investments

Saudi fintech Tweeq raises investment for its spending account app

Riyadh-based fintech Tweeq has raised an undisclosed amount of money in an investment round led by STV and Raed Ventures, it announced today. The startup said its a seven-figure (USD) round without sharing further details.

Founded in early 2020 by Saeed AlBuhairi, Mohammed Faheem, Abdulaziz AlMalki, and Abdullah AlOtaibi, Tweeq is building a spending account app that will enable users to sign up for a digital account (with complete online onboarding), start receiving and making payments, organize the finances, and keep an eye on their personal spending automatically across different categories. The users who will open an account with Tweeq will apparently also receive a Mastercard-powered card that they will be able to use for both online and in-store transactions.

Tweeq’s app is already live but for now, it can be used to join the waiting list only. The startup did not share an exact timeline of when it will launch for the public but its co-founder and CEO Saeed AlBuhairi in a statement said that they’re working hard to obtain the necessary licenses and approvals to conduct their business under SAMA’s supervision, “Tweeq is aiming to provide an unparalleled customer experience and a better modern alternative to the traditional banking account,” noted Saeed who was previously Group Vice President and Head of Digital Banking at First Abu Dhabi Bank.

It is the first investment by STV in a Saudi fintech. Explaining why they decided to invest in Tweeq, the firm wrote in a blog, “We closely study the evolution of the FinTech sector in the region and its emerging players. We believe that there is a sizable opportunity to digitize the multi-billion dollar traditional financial services sector by providing hassle-free, intuitive financial products. We first met Tweeq last year and we immediately knew that we were looking at something unique. Tweeq is entering the space with a pan-MENA vision and a product-first mindset.”

Ahmad AlNaimi, Partner at STV, added, “Our investment in Tweeq excites us deeply; we are confident in their ability to become a fintech leader that will transform and grow the financial sector in Saudi Arabia and beyond. As financial regulators open the doors to challengers and innovators, the region is destined to witness the same shift that swept the financial sectors in the United States, Europe, China, and India. We believe that MENA will witness an even bigger shift, fueled by a younger population and increasingly progressive regulators.”

The consumer fintech startups from United Arab Emirates, including Mamo and Ziina, are also looking to expand their offerings to Saudi. They don’t have exactly the same products but there is going to be an overlap in the kind of services they offer to their customers. What this means is that Tweeq will have to compete with these startups and established fintechs like STC Pay, when it launches its services.

But as the statement by the Saudi startup highlights, the lagging quality of digital experiences and customer service is driving customers in the country away from traditional financial institutions and towards consumer-first fintech startups. So there’s a large enough opportunity for multiple consumer-focused fintechs to build large businesses.

Omar Almajdouie, co-founder and CEO at Raed Ventures said that what makes Tweeq an outstanding team is their vision for transforming banking services and their ability to lead this transformation – and that is primarily why they invested in them.

Zubair Naeem Paracha
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