Saudi digital payment solutions startup, CashIn, gets $1.6m in funding

Saudi digital payment solutions startup, CashIn, gets $1.6m in funding
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Updated 19 September 2021

Saudi digital payment solutions startup, CashIn, gets $1.6m in funding

Saudi digital payment solutions startup, CashIn, gets $1.6m in funding
  • The startup provides digital payment solutions, virtual points of sale, and other payment features to businesses
  • It comes as a new e-invoicing rule in the Kingdom is set to be implemented, with CashIn partnering with the government sector to fully comply with it

DUBAI: Saudi financial technology startup CashIn has raised SR6 million ($1.6 million) in its latest funding round, as the industry grows bigger due to evolving consumer habits.

The startup provides digital payment solutions, virtual points of sale, and other payment features to businesses who are looking to manage sales in an integrated platform.

It comes as a new e-invoicing rule in the Kingdom is set to be implemented, with CashIn partnering with the government sector to fully comply with it, the startup said in a statement.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is undergoing rapid growth in the FinTech and technology sectors in comparison to other countries, and we are keen on CashIn to adapt to these fast-paced changes in parallel with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030,” its chief executive officer Omar Al-Rammah said.

The seed round was led by BIM Ventures and a number of angel investors, the startup said.

Saudi Arabia is focusing on the digitalization of its financial sector. The Saudi government approved licenses for two digital banks in the Kingdom in June, with one owned by telecommunications giant STC.

The Kingdom’s Financial Sector Development Program aims at enabling local financial technology companies and raising the amount of digital transactions within the banking sector.

While the program targets the listing of 25 new companies on the Saudi stock exchange by 2025, its other goal is to improve the listing process for companies.

In January, SAMA issued new regulations for debt-based crowdfunding in the Kingdom. The framework provided more opportunities for startups and small and medium-sized enterprises in the country to access capital and source funding to expand.


Germany trims 2021 growth forecast, lifts 2022 prediction

Germany trims 2021 growth forecast, lifts 2022 prediction
Updated 7 sec ago

Germany trims 2021 growth forecast, lifts 2022 prediction

Germany trims 2021 growth forecast, lifts 2022 prediction

BERLIN: The economic growth forecast for Germany was sharply cut to 2.6 percent for 2021 from April’s prediction of 3.5 percent, the German government said. 

This was mainly driven by distortions in the supply chain as well as hikes in energy prices.

On the other hand, the forecast for next year was favorably altered to 4.1 percent up from the former expectation of 3.6 percent, the Economy Ministry added.


Immersive video app 360VUZ scales operations in Saudi Arabia

Immersive video app 360VUZ scales operations in Saudi Arabia
Updated 17 min 7 sec ago

Immersive video app 360VUZ scales operations in Saudi Arabia

Immersive video app 360VUZ scales operations in Saudi Arabia
  • 360VUZ's Saudi office is part of the company’s growth plan, focusing on business development, building the latest immersive technologies, and initiating new partnerships. 

The immersive mobile video app, 360VUZ has scaled its operations further in Riyadh with a larger office.

360VUZ's Saudi office is part of the company’s growth plan, focusing on business development, building the latest immersive technologies, and initiating new partnerships. 

“360VUZ ranked as the number one mobile app on Apple Store in Saudi Arabia last week, proving that it is just the perfect location to maximize our business and continue on bringing new immersive social content to our users,” the company’s CEO, Khaled Zaatarah said. 

So far, the app has raised a total of $10 million from top international investors. 


European businesses ahead of the Middle East on ESG, says EFG Hermes chief

European businesses ahead of the Middle East on ESG, says EFG Hermes chief
Updated 38 min 47 sec ago

European businesses ahead of the Middle East on ESG, says EFG Hermes chief

European businesses ahead of the Middle East on ESG, says EFG Hermes chief

Middle East businesses are lagging behind Europe when it comes to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) policies, the chief of multinational financial services company EFG Hermes has warned.

Speaking at the Future Investment Initiative Forum in Riyadh, Karim Awad, CEO of the Egyptian-based firm, added that while governance has improved in the region over the last two decades, environmental and social frameworks have not been developing at the same pace.

Awad highlighted the difficulties some companies face when expanding these areas of their businesses, as investors often feel they are not being told “concrete” achievements.

He said: “ESG has not happened in the Middle East to the level of what happened in Europe and different places in the world.

“The ‘G’ in the past 20 years has evolved massively, with the amount of transparency and governance from companies, especially public listed ones, not near to what it was years ago, but it isn’t the same for ‘E’ and ‘S’.”

Awad added: “There is a lot of data and investors sometimes feel they are fooled by telling them stuff that is not concrete in terms of value.”

Another leading business figure, Christine Tsai, CEO and founding partner of venture capital firm 500 Global, also flagged up issues with ESG, saying that more than 80 percent of their portfolio want to integrate the policies "but there's no framework for early stage companies.”

Awad agreed with this, saying that a lack of “specific standards” is an issue for companies looking to expand their ESG policies.


FII Institute signs deal with Saudi British Joint Business Council to establish tech hub

FII Institute signs deal with Saudi British Joint Business Council to establish tech hub
Updated 46 min 37 sec ago

FII Institute signs deal with Saudi British Joint Business Council to establish tech hub

FII Institute signs deal with Saudi British Joint Business Council to establish tech hub

RIYADH: The Future Investment Initiative Institute on Wednesday signed an agreement with the Saudi British Joint Business Council to become a founding partner of the Saudi/UK Tech Hub and contribute to the project’s startup costs.

The tech hub will link Saudi and UK tech entrepreneurs and innovation hubs with potential partners and investors through a virtual platform, joint events and a business growth program. It will help to connect Saudi and British startups and scale-ups in key sectors, promote knowledge sharing and increase deal flow.

Speaking at the singing ceremony, Richard Attias, CEO of the FII Institute said: “The UK — home to many of humanity’s greatest inventions — will bring the best of what it knows to the Kingdom.”

The Saudi Ministry of Communications and IT and the British government’s Science and Innovation Network have pledged their support to the tech hub.  

Chris Innes-Hopkins, executive director of the Saudi British Joint Business Council, said the Saudi/UK Tech Hub builds on great opportunities for collaboration between the UK and Saudi technology sectors including fintech, clean tech and healt htech.

“We look forward to working closely with the FII on implementation,” he added.


Eni announces 3 oil, gas discoveries in Egypt

Eni announces 3 oil, gas discoveries in Egypt
Updated 39 min 23 sec ago

Eni announces 3 oil, gas discoveries in Egypt

Eni announces 3 oil, gas discoveries in Egypt
  • The discoveries were made by the Jasmine W-1X and MWD-21 wells, which were drilled respectively in the Aman area near the west Meleiha deep field.

CAIRO: Italian energy company Eni has made three new oil and gas discoveries in Egypt’s Western Desert, the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum has announced.

Oil, gas, and condensate (a mix of light liquid hydrocarbons) were found in the Meleiha concession area, and oil in the southwest Meleiha zone.

The discoveries were made by the Jasmine W-1X and MWD-21 wells, which were drilled respectively in the Aman area near the west Meleiha deep field.

In a statement, the ministry said that tests resulted in an average production of 2,000 barrels per day of light crude and 7 million cubic feet per day of associated gas.

The MWD-21 well, which has already been linked to production, also yielded a stable rate of 2,500 bpd.

In the southwest Meleiha concession, the SWM-4X well, located 35 kilometers south of the Meleiha field, was used for the discoveries. The test resulted in a production rate of approximately 1,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

The three wells will add a total production of about 6,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Eni’s ongoing oil and gas exploration strategy in the area means that any discoveries can be quickly and cost-effectively linked into existing production facilities.

Eni, through its subsidiary AIOC, owns a 38 percent stake in the Meleiha concession license, while Russia’s Lukoil has 12 percent, and the Egyptian General Petroleum Corp. 50 percent.

In the southwest Meleiha concession, Eni owns, through AIOC, a 50 percent stake, with the Egyptian General Petroleum Corp. holding the remaining share.

Eni has been operating in Egypt since 1954 and is a major producer, with a current production of about 360,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.