Payment solutions Zbooni secures $9.5m as e-commerce booms

Payment solutions Zbooni secures $9.5m as e-commerce booms
Zbooni will use the funds to further develop its proprietary commerce technology, as well as hire new talent and expand into new markets. (Supplied)
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Updated 28 September 2021

Payment solutions Zbooni secures $9.5m as e-commerce booms

Payment solutions Zbooni secures $9.5m as e-commerce booms
  • The company, it said in a statement, is seeing strong traction on its mobile seller app and web-based tools

DUBAI: Payment solutions provider Zbooni has secured $9.5 million in its latest funding round, on the back of the region’s growing e-commerce scene.

Several regional and international investors participated in the Series A round, including family office March Holding, US-based Enterprise Fund, as well as a few European private investors.

The UAE-based startup provides digital tools for businesses to engage with their customers - including an online invoining function, and other mobile-based applications. 

“Our solutions help businesses seamlessly transition into a new era of commerce, offering more relevant ways to sell and interact with customers,” Ramy Assaf, Zbooni founder, said. =

The company, it said in a statement, is seeing strong traction on its mobile seller app and web-based tools. 

Zbooni will use the funds to further develop its proprietary commerce technology, as well as hire new talent and expand into new markets. 

“We see a massive opportunity in front of us and are excited about helping define the next generation of commerce,” Assaf said.


Foreign investments in Egypt’s oil sector see 26.02% decline, says minister

Foreign investments in Egypt’s oil sector see 26.02% decline, says minister
Updated 8 sec ago

Foreign investments in Egypt’s oil sector see 26.02% decline, says minister

Foreign investments in Egypt’s oil sector see 26.02% decline, says minister

CAIRO: Egypt's oil minister said on Sunday that foreign investments in the sector fell 26.02% to $5.4 billion in the financial year 2020-21, versus $7.3 billion a year earlier.

“The coronavirus crisis led to a slowdown in investments from international oil companies worldwide,” Tarek El Molla said in a speech to the Egyptian Petroleum Association. 


Over 86,000 Saudi families benefit from Sakani subsidized loans

Over 86,000 Saudi families benefit from Sakani subsidized loans
Updated 17 October 2021

Over 86,000 Saudi families benefit from Sakani subsidized loans

Over 86,000 Saudi families benefit from Sakani subsidized loans

RIYADH: More than 86,000 Saudi families benefited from the Housing Ministry’s Sakani program subsidized real estate loans since the beginning of the year till September, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

The program offers two types of subsidized loans, one for ready-made housing units and the other meant for under-construction buildings.

Of the total, 69,497 families benefited from the loan offered for ready-made housing units.

The Ministry of Housing and the Real Estate Development Fund formed Sakani in 2017 to facilitate homeownership in the Kingdom through the creation of new housing stock, allocating plots and homes to nationals, and financing their purchase. It has a goal of reaching 70 percent homeownership by 2030.

The program also launched new e-services to serve people effectively.


Uber, Careem may pay a tax bill of $100m to Saudi government: Bloomberg

Uber, Careem may pay a tax bill of $100m to Saudi government: Bloomberg
Updated 17 October 2021

Uber, Careem may pay a tax bill of $100m to Saudi government: Bloomberg

Uber, Careem may pay a tax bill of $100m to Saudi government: Bloomberg

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is charging several technology firms, including Uber Technologies Inc. and its Dubai-based subsidiary Careem, with tax bills worth tens of millions of dollars, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge the matter.

Uber and Careem face a combined bill worth around $100 million, it said. The claims are related to a dispute over how to calculate the value-added tax owed over the past few years and include hefty penalties for late payment, Bloomberg reported. 


No fear of inflation ‘runaway train,’ says IMF chief

No fear of inflation ‘runaway train,’ says IMF chief
Updated 17 October 2021

No fear of inflation ‘runaway train,’ says IMF chief

No fear of inflation ‘runaway train,’ says IMF chief
  • Growing supply chain bottlenecks source of concern for policymakers

WASHINGTON: Global finance officials are worried about rising inflation pressures but there it is little fear that it will become a “runaway train,” IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said on Sunday.

With supply chain bottlenecks growing in the face of surging demand, policymakers have focused attention on rising prices and whether they will linger or fade away in coming months.

“We are in a more somewhat more uncertain space now,” Georgieva said at the G30 central banking conference.

However, in advanced economies “policymakers have the tools” to deal with inflation, she said, so “there is no significant concern that this would be a runaway train.”

Even so, finance ministers and central bankers gathered last week in Washington for the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank were more concerned than previously that the prices increases could be more than transitory, she said.

And major emerging markets like Russia and Mexico already have raised interest rates showing that “in these places their policymakers are sufficiently concerned already to take action.”

In the world’s largest economy, US Federal Reserve officials have signaled they will begin to pull back on stimulus by tapering its bond purchases in the last few weeks of the year, but the benchmark interest rate is expected to remain at zero with no increase until late 2022 at the earliest.

The Bank of England so far has left its stimulus unchanged, but there were signs of dissent at its most recent policy meeting, when two of its rate-setting panel voted to stop the bond-buying stimulus as soon as possible to help quell inflation.

BoE Gov. Andrew Bailey said central bankers face a “very difficult balancing act” because they cannot address the underlying supply shocks with monetary policy, but have to respond to what is happening in the economy.

Failure to act to contain inflation risks undermining central banks' inflation-fighting credibility, he said.

“We have ... to preserve the huge progress we’ve made in terms of the credibility of monetary policy regimes. I mean that is absolutely critically important,” Bailey said at the conference.


Square plans to build new bitcoin mining system: Crypto wrap

Square plans to build new bitcoin mining system: Crypto wrap
Updated 17 October 2021

Square plans to build new bitcoin mining system: Crypto wrap

Square plans to build new bitcoin mining system: Crypto wrap

RIYADH: Following the latest report from the University of Cambridge showing that the US has the largest share of bitcoin mining in the world, the CEO of Twitter and Square, Jack Dorsey has announced that Square is considering building a bitcoin mining system based on custom silicon.

Dorsey has been a supporter of bitcoin for years, and recently made it clear that Square is in the midst of building a bitcoin hardware wallet in order to make bitcoin custody more mainstream, he also said that bitcoin will be a big part of Twitter’s future.

“Square is considering building a bitcoin mining system based on custom silicon and open source for individuals and businesses worldwide,” Dorsey said. “If we do this, we’d follow our hardware wallet model: build in the open in collaboration with the community.”

ETF

As the first bitcoin futures ETF could begin trading as early as next week in the US, the owner of the NBA team Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban shared his thoughts on bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Cuban said in an interview with CNBC that he has no plans to invest in bitcoin-based exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and sees no reason for him to invest in a bitcoin ETF, asserting that he can buy the cryptocurrency directly.

While futures-based bitcoin ETFs provide investors with some exposure to the crypto market without owning any actual currencies.

Todd Rosenbluth, director of ETF and mutual fund research at CFRA, explained: "The ETF price will not match the price of bitcoin. As such, it is likely better for short-term exposure than for buy and hold long-term investing.

Mexico won’t adopt bitcoin as legal tender

The President of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has denied that there is any interest in adopting cryptocurrencies as legal tender in the country.

"No. We are not going to change in this aspect. We see fit to maintain the orthodoxy in managing finances. We are not going to try to innovate a lot in the financial system," he said.

Trading

Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency in trading internationally, traded lower on Sunday, falling by 0.12 percent to $60,928 at 5 p.m. Riyadh time.

Ethereum, the second most traded cryptocurrency, traded at $3,857, down by 1.51 percent, according to data from Coindesk.