Dubai fintech YAP raises $41m to expand footprint, eyes Saudi market among others

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Updated 06 July 2022

Dubai fintech YAP raises $41m to expand footprint, eyes Saudi market among others

Dubai fintech YAP raises $41m to expand footprint, eyes Saudi market among others

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. 




Marwan Hachem, co-founder and group CEO of YAP (Supplied)

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. 


MENA Project Tracker — ADNOC receives bids on seawater plant; Saudi and Kuwait inject $256m in housing project in Egypt 

MENA Project Tracker — ADNOC receives bids on seawater plant; Saudi and Kuwait inject $256m in housing project in Egypt 
Updated 17 sec ago

MENA Project Tracker — ADNOC receives bids on seawater plant; Saudi and Kuwait inject $256m in housing project in Egypt 

MENA Project Tracker — ADNOC receives bids on seawater plant; Saudi and Kuwait inject $256m in housing project in Egypt 

RIYADH: Companies have submitted bids for the technical and economic consultancy contract for developing wind power projects in Oman, reported MEED.

Oman Power & Water Procurement Co. originally tendered the contract in July and received its bids on Sept. 27. 

The company announced that the contractor will be selected by early October.

The scope of work includes two stages — undertaking feasibility studies, followed by the provision of technical consultancy services.

This project aims to diversify fuel sources for power generation in Oman.

ADNOC receives bids on seawater plant

Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. has received three bids for the contract to develop a seawater treatment plant and transmission pipeline project in Mirfa, according to MEED.

The project’s work includes the development of a nanofiltration plant — which will hold a capacity of 115 million imperial gallons a day in Mirfa.

It also includes seawater intake and outfall facilities for the plant, a pumping station and a 75 km water transmission pipeline to the Bab and Bu Hasa oil fields.

The project, estimated at $2 billion, is part of ADNOC's Project Wave — a huge scheme that plans to replace the current aquifer water injection systems used to maintain reservoir pressure in all onshore oil fields in Abu Dhabi.

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait inject $256m in housing project in Egypt 

Saudi Arabia-based Binladin Group has partnered with Kuwait’s Bukhamseen company in a 5 billion Egyptian pound ($256 million) investment into a large housing project in Egypt.  

Located in Sheikh Zayed City near Cairo, ‘Marascene’ will stretch over 275,000 sq. m, according to Zawya.       

 “This is a large project which will be completed within seven years...we expect revenue to reach 9 billion pounds,” stated Bukhamseen’s CEO Imad Bukhamseen.


Saudi ministry appoints 5 international banks as primary dealers in government debt

Saudi ministry appoints 5 international banks as primary dealers in government debt
Updated 14 min 54 sec ago

Saudi ministry appoints 5 international banks as primary dealers in government debt

Saudi ministry appoints 5 international banks as primary dealers in government debt

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Finance,and the National Debt Management Center signed an agreement with the international banks, including BNP Paribas, to join primary dealers in government debt instruments.

The deal also includes CitiGroup, Goldman Sachs, Standard Chartered and J.P. Morgan, the ministry said in a statement released on Oct 3. 

The Minister of Finance Mohammed Al Jadaan said: “These agreements are a continuation of the developmental steps taken towards achieving Vision 2030 objectives under the umbrella of the Financial Sector Development Program.”

This will be primarily achieved through cooperation between relevant entities, to develop the infrastructure of the local debt market and increase the liquidity of the government's local debt instruments by attracting more capital from foreign investors, he added. 

The five international banks will join five other local banks in that role — the Saudi National Bank, AlJazira Bank, Alinma Bank, and AlRajhi Bank.

The applications for subscription in the primary market for the government's local debt instruments are submitted to the National Debt Management Center.


Egyptian VC firm Algebra Ventures finalizes first close of $100m fund

Egyptian VC firm Algebra Ventures finalizes first close of $100m fund
Updated 38 min 40 sec ago

Egyptian VC firm Algebra Ventures finalizes first close of $100m fund

Egyptian VC firm Algebra Ventures finalizes first close of $100m fund

RIYADH: Egypt-based venture capital firm Algebra Ventures has finalized a $100 million first close of its second fund — exceeding the $90 million target.

The company, which is set to invest $15 million in startups by the end of the year, is expecting to make its final close by the end of the first quarter of 2023.

The company’s second fund is backed by existing limited partnerships from the first fund including IFC, EBRD, and EAEF in addition to new investors like FMO, BII, MSMEDA, DGGF and regional family offices.

Founded in 2016, Algebra Ventures has backed a number of startups like Trella, Khazna, Mozare3, Shift EV, elmenus, Halan, and Yodawy.


Saudi Cabinet signs off agreement with UK over energy expertise

Saudi Cabinet signs off agreement with UK over energy expertise
Updated 50 min 36 sec ago

Saudi Cabinet signs off agreement with UK over energy expertise

Saudi Cabinet signs off agreement with UK over energy expertise

RIYADH: The Saudi Cabinet has approved a memorandum of understanding with the UK to share technical knowledge and expertise on energy.

The Cabinet is also discussing a draft MoU with its Finnish counterpart for further cooperation in the fields of information technology, communications, and digital economy.

Moreover, the Cabinet has transferred the licensing competence for the professions of industrial consultancy and mining consultancy from the Ministry of Commerce to the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources.


Metaverse to add $360bn to MENA’s GDP over the next decade

Metaverse to add $360bn to MENA’s GDP over the next decade
Updated 04 October 2022

Metaverse to add $360bn to MENA’s GDP over the next decade

Metaverse to add $360bn to MENA’s GDP over the next decade

RIYADH: Metaverse is predicted to add $360 billion to the economy in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey over the next 10 years, an official for Meta, the parent company of Facebook, told Asharq Business.

The metaverse is an online world where users can play games, work, and study.

Globally, the metaverse is expected to add $3 trillion to the world’s economy over the next decade, according to Fares Akkad, regional director for Meta in MENA.

Speaking about Meta platforms, he said there are over 300 million users on Instagram, Facebook, and Whatsapp.

Meta is investing more than $1 billion in programs that support creators on these platforms and help them succeed, Akkad said.