UAE digital banking app YAP raises $41m to expand into new markets

UAE-based financial technology and digital banking app startup YAP has raised $41 million as it seeks to expand into new markets and improve its technology offerings.

The funding round was led by Saudi Arabia-based investment firm Aljazira Capital. Global investment conglomerate Abu Dawood Group, Saudi-based Astra Group, Dubai-based private equity firm Audacia Capital and family offices also participated in the funding round, the company said in a statement on Monday.

The FinTech platform, which launched in 2021 in partnership with RAKBank and has over 130,000 registered users on its app, plans to complete its Series A funding by the end of the year, he added. .

“YAP continues to redefine the FinTech sector in the region,” said Marwan Hachem, co-founder and CEO of YAP Group.

“The interest we have received from investors shows that there is strong demand for FinTech products.”

The demand for digital payments and other FinTech services has increased due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic as more and more people are using online banking services to transfer money and pay for commerce transactions. electronic.

FinTech funding worldwide has jumped 68% annually to $210 billion in 2021, according to a report from consultancy KPMG in March.

A record 5,684 deals were signed through mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital last year, the report found. The payments segment continued to attract the lion’s share of funding among FinTech sub-sectors, accounting for $51.7 billion in investment globally.

Investments in FinTech companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa totaled $77.4 billion across 1,859 deals last year, KPMG said.

More than 800 FinTech companies operating in different segments such as payments, InsureTech and cybersecurity in the Middle East are expected to raise more than $2 billion in venture capital funding this year to boost their growth, said Dubai bank Mashreq. in February, citing data from the Middle East Institute.

YAP, which can be downloaded on iOS and Android devices, provides expense analytics, card checks, money transfer and bill payment service, real-time notifications of purchases, withdrawals and transfers, the statement said.

The digital banking app, which does not require a minimum balance and salary transfer requirement, also offers a virtual card for online purchases.

“We look forward to expanding into new markets and enhancing our offering in the coming months with these investments,” said Anas Zaidan, co-founder and CEO of YAP.

YAP has received regulatory approval in Pakistan and Ghana and plans to launch soon in Egypt, he said.

The FinTech platform has partnered with Bank AlJazeera to launch its consumer and professional banking platforms in Saudi Arabia. YAP partners with banking partners to provide Iban sponsorship to users, the statement adds.

YAP’s product development pipeline includes a multi-currency offering, children’s and household products, equity trading, loans, and buy-now-pay-later products.

Support from government-backed entities in the UAE has proven crucial for local FinTech start-ups.

The Dubai International Financial Center Innovation Hub, which is the region’s largest FinTech and innovative business cluster, has allocated approximately $100 million to help start-ups grow through its FinTech Fund accelerator program .

DIFC’s FinTech hive has reached out to investors and industry experts to seek funding.

Last October, the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates also signed an agreement with the DIFC to strengthen collaboration within the framework of their shared sandbox program for FinTechs.

Updated: July 04, 2022, 05:00

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