Dubai fintech Ziina raises $7.5 million to launch its mobile wallet and expand to Saudi

Dubai-based Y Combinator-backed fintech Ziina has raised $7.5 million in a new round of funding led by Avenir Growth Capital and Class 5 Global, it announced on Monday. Wamda Capital, FJ Labs, Graph Ventures, Goodwater Capital, Jabbar Internet Group and Oman Technology Fund’s Jasoor Ventures also joined the deal along with some high-profile individual investors including CEO Guillaume Pousaz (who invested through his investment firm Zingal Growth), BukuKas CEO Krishnan Memon, and Paypal and Venmo executives.

Ziina has previously raised $850,000 in a pre-seed and an undisclosed amount of money in a seed round that also included operators from companies like Revolut, Stripe, Brex, Notion, and Deel as investors.

Founded in 2020 by Faisal Toukan, Sarah Toukan, and Andrew Gold, Ziina started with a payments app for consumers that allowed them to link their local bank accounts in UAE and transfer money to their contacts without having to use account numbers or swift codes. It is now building a mobile wallet that will replace the previous app and will enable users to open digital accounts to store their funds in it, its co-founder and CEO Faisal Toukan told MENAbytes. Like Telda in Egypt, Ziina is doing this with the help of a partner bank.

“We are in constant conversation with our users to find creative ways to make their payments experience natural and delightful. As a result, the social aspect of payments has become the focal point of our product. We are building an experience where our customers can benefit from having their families and social circles on the app. In the future, we want Ziina to be the centerpiece of people’s finances, inspiring our users to take control of their money and offering them new possibilities to grow their wealth,” said Faisal in a statement.

The fintech already has over 20,000 verified users on its waitlist for the mobile wallet, it said in a statement. Ziina doesn’t have an exact timeline but has told MENAbytes that the wallet will be launched this summer – and expanded to Saudi Arabia and Jordan by 2022.

Ziina plans to use the latest funds to fuel its expansion to Saudi, launch the mobile wallet, and add more people to its team. Their early team includes people who’ve previously worked at companies like Apple, Uber, Stanford, Coinbase, Careem, Oracle, and Yandex.

Zubair Naeem Paracha
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