RIYADH: The UAE’s fintech YAP, a leading digital banking platform, has raised $41 million in a pre-series A funding round led by Saudi Arabia’s Aljazira Capital, Abu Dawood Group, Astra Group and Audacia Capital.
Co-founder and CEO at YAP Holding, Marwan Hachem, told Arab News in an exclusive interview that the company is planning to expand into Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Egypt as it is now piloting in Ghana.
“We signed a partnership with Bank AlJazira in Saudi Arabia and now we are integrating with the bank and aiming to launch before the end of 2022,” Hachem said.
Anas Zaidan, co-founder and CEO at YAP Saudi Arabia, told Arab News: “YAP Saudi Arabia will be owned 50 percent by YAP Holding and we're going to manage it, and 50 percent by Bank AlJazira . And we're working closely now with Bank AlJazira to finalize the IT integration to go live as a pilot in October.”
With no minimum balance required, YAP offers users a simple interface with a complete view of consumer spending analytics and easy ways to transfer money and pay bills, the app also provides customers with real-time notifications of purchases, withdrawals, and transfers.
Zaidan added that the company has over 130,000 users currently in the UAE and is planning to add one million from Saudi Arabia in the next three years.
“Our main product will be targeting the population between 18 and 45 years old as we also have a tailor-made app for kids, YAP Young, it's going to target from between eight years old to 18 years also,” Zaidan explained.
“In terms of B2B, we're going to focus on SMEs and startups, which is a big need for SMEs and startups in the Kingdom because the banks usually focus on medium sized companies and big corporations,” he added.
“Through our platform SME’s and startups are going to be able to open a bank account to the trade license, as we have a lot of modules where we're going to do expense management, payroll cards for the employees, invoicing tools. account receivables, and account payables,”
“We're also going to calculate the vat for them, offer them the multi-currency for expense management, and lend against invoice as we’re going to be the first buy-now-pay-later provider for SMEs,” Zaidan explained further.
He stressed on the importance of the Saudi Market for YAP as it is one of the fastest growing in the region.
“I believe the market is very big, and YAP would be positioned very well now, coming at the right time, where we can showcase our strength, knowledge, and experience,” Zaidan said.
YAP’s product development pipeline includes a new multicurrency offering, products for children and households, equity trading, loans and buy-now-pay-later options through the YAP Store, the YAP Financial Marketplace, and the YAP Hub.
“I think by the end of Q3, we're launching the financial marketplace where you can take direct equities and digital assets, we're also building YAP Hub which is a marketplace where we integrate with E commerce platforms,” Hachem stated.
He also added that the company is planning to raise an additional $20 million to complete its series A funding round before the end of this year.