In last week’s Middle East fintech news, we saw an Israeli spend management platform land a hefty funding deal, and a couple of high points for fintech in the UAE, amidst wider regional developments.
Israeli spending and procurement platform PayEm emerged out of stealth last week, announcing a total funding of US$27 million (TechCrunch). The total capital comprises US$7 million in seed funding, led by Pitango First and NFX, and US$20 million in Series A funding led by Glilot Capital Partners.
PayEm’s solution helps to automate reimbursement, procurement, accounts payable and credit card workflows, and manage requests, invoices, bills and payments. The funding comes in the background of burgeoning interest in Israeli fintech firms providing enterprise solutions.
Wins for fintech startups in the UAE
A handful of fintech startups in the UAE stood out in last week’s Middle East fintech news. For instance, insurtech startup hala secured US$5 million for its digital car insurance product (Fintech News). The solution rewards users with hala coins for driving without accidents over a period of time, which can be used at hala’s partner outlets.
Two Indian fintech startups announced their entry into the Emirati fintech space last week. B2B digital payments company PayMate stepped into the country through a partnership with Visa and Citi (Fintech News). Elsewhere, banking workflow automation company Signzy secured a deal with Seed Group (subsidiary of billionaire Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum’s private office) to expand in the Middle East (Finextra).
Meanwhile, one CTO placed Dubai’s fintech space on par with New York, Berlin, London and Singapore (Arabian Business). The emirate was headed towards becoming a “flourishing fintech hub for the region,” CTO of Dubai-based investment platform Stake, Ricardo Brízido, said.
Other Middle East fintech news highlights
Joint plans to acquire a majority stake in the Arab Investment Bank (AIB) by EFG Hermes and The Sovereign Fund of Egypt (TSFE) were approved last week (Fintech Galaxy).
The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) gave the green light to a joint bid by EFG Hermes and TSFE Financial Services and Fintech Sub-Fund to acquire 76% of AIB for EGP 3.8 billion (about USD 241.9 million). When completed, EFG Hermes will own 51% of AIB, and TSFE Financial Services and Fintech Sub-Fund will own the remaining 25%.
In another partnership, the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) and Visa signed a deal to collaborate on the AMF’s regional payments platform Buna (Fintech News). The collaboration will enable mutual interoperability between Visa and Buna, and add additional money transfer rails between the two systems.
Meanwhile, Forbes announced its top 15 Middle East Fintech Apps, with 10 fintech startups finding a place in the list (Fintech News). The list includes some of the region’s most popular and well funded startups, as well as emerging ones that have been grabbing eyeballs.
And finally, healthcare giant Aster stepped into the fintech space with a digital wealth management platform for MENA-based HNWIs (Zawya). The mobile-first solution includes features such as data and machine learning capabilities, 360° wealth reporting, and API-first architecture.
That’s it for last week in Middle East fintech news. Remember to hit subscribe on the Fintech News Middle East newsletter for more top updates.