MEA Fintech Weekly News: Melio’s Valuation Soars After US$250M Fundingby Fintechnews Middle East 20. September 2021
In last week’s MEA fintech news, we saw US-Israeli fintech startup Melio raise a quarter billion dollars at a hefty valuation, while another US-Israeli fintech company Pagaya announced its SPAC listing.
Elsewhere, Nigeria emerged the top funded fintech hub in Africa for 2020, while the Central Bank of Bahrain upped the stakes with its Open Banking Framework.
Melio is now a US$4 billion payments giant
In the biggest MEA fintech news of last week, US-Israeli payments fintech Melio bumped up its valuation 3x within the year with its latest fundraise (Fintech News Middle East).
The company raised US$250 million in a Series D round led by Thrive Capital and General Catalyst last week. The funding amount pretty much doubles the company’s total capital pool to US$504 million, and raises its valuation to US$4 billion.
The Series D tops up a US$110 million Series C2 round Melio raised just in January this year. The company was valued at US$1.3 billion after the Series C2. Monthly processing volumes have leaped 5,000% in the past 18 months alone, according to the company.
Melio will be using the funds to strengthen its partner networks – financial institutions, SaaS providers, and marketplaces – as it looks to expand.
Based out of New York, Melio has built an SME-focused payments platform for its small business clients to digitally manage their payables and receivables. The platform comes with digitised features such as automated reconciliation and digitised payment approval workflows.
The company is continuing increasingly optimistic investor sentiment for Israeli fintechs. Israeli fintech companies have been having a stellar year so far, with record-breaking fintech funding received in H1 this year.
MEA Fintech News Highlights
– UAE-based LNDDO launched its credit solution for SMEs in the UAE last week, with plans to expand to Egypt and Saudi Arabia (SME10x).
– Bahrain continues its progress with its Open Banking Framework, with the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) mandating retail banks and financial institutions to implement second phase requirements by 30 June 2022 (CBB).
– Bahrain-based wealth management startup Inablr announced that it will be launching a blockchain-based investment platform for fractionalised bonds and sukuks in 2022 (Fintech Galaxy). Built on the Tezos protocol, initial investments start at US$1,000.
– Open banking platform Spire Technologies (subsidiary of Aion Digital) successfully tested its financial data and payments API in Bahrain’s regulatory sandbox (Gulf News).
– Bahrain-headquartered banking-as-a-service company Infinios Financial Services was acquired by nDigital Holdings, a holding company based in the Cayman Islands (Infinios). Infinios previously known as NEC Payments.
– Saudi’s Capital Market Authority has approved new amendments to its fintech regulatory framework (Arab News). The amendments add definitions to clarify the nature of the Fintech Lab, as well as instructions for business practices at the lab. They also include an update for the Fintech ExPermit application form.
– Saudi Arabia’s digital payment and POS solutions startup CashIn announced a seed fundraise of US$1.6 million today (Fintech News Middle East).
– AI fintech solutions provider Pagaya announced that it would be going public via a SPAC merger (Fintech News Middle East). The deal is worth US$8.5 billion.
– Egypt-based micro loan solutions provider Kashat secured US$1.75 million in a bridge funding round last week (Fintech News Africa).
– Fintech startups in Africa raised a total of US$160 million in 2020, up 49% (Proshare). Of this, Nigerian startups raised over half, or US$89 million.
– Cross-border payments company Thunes announced a partnership with M-Pesa Tanzania to enable instant money transfers from M-Pesa wallets to bank accounts in Kenya and Rwanda (Thunes).
– Kenya-based donations startup Jumuisha raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding for expansion (Disrupt Africa). Jumuisha’s platform helps churches and NGOs to receive donations, make payments, and generate reports.
– African AI fintech services provider Finclusion Group raised US$20million in a debt funding round from Lendable last week (Tech Financials).
“While growing digitisation, cashless economies and public-private collaborations have all had a role to play in boosting innovation, the growing interest in open banking in the Middle East can be pinned down to 5 key trends…” Read more on the top open banking trends in the Middle East.
“In all, there are 11 active CBDC projects in Africa currently, alongside an inactive project (Egypt) and Senegal’s cancelled one. Here are the four most exciting ones to watch out for…” Find out more about the four most exciting central bank digital currency projects underway in Africa.
This article was originally published on Fintech News Africa.
Featured image: edited from Freepik