Egyptian financial sector has been experiencing an overhaul in the way the unbanked and under-banked citizens get financial inclusion. With about 50% smartphone penetration in the country, Egyptian Fintech startups have one of the basic requirements to munch on.
Cairo-based fintech startup, Khazna, has taken a swipe at building a bridge to bring financial inclusiveness to the under-banked. The startup, which is a self-described “super app” has completed its Series A debt and equity round, raising $38 million to further push its expansion quest.
The startup was founded by Omar Selah, Ahmed Wagueeh, Fatimah El Shenawy, and Omar Salah in 2019, with the intention of providing basic financial services to middle and lower class earners. Khazna currently offers general purpose credit, buy-now-pay-later (BNPL), and bill payment.
“We are much more of a super app than a digital bank because we have, in addition to the financial services, launched multiple non-financial services as well on the app,” Saleh said, clearing the air about Khazna not being just another digital bank.
Speaking on Khazna’s operations in the North African country, co-founder and CEO, Omar Saleh, noted that Khazna has over 150,000 active users, and about 1,000 merchants spread across the country. With this, Khazna is projecting itself as a financial solution for about 35 million financially underserved Egyptians.
“The phenomenal growth of Egypt’s fledgling fintech industry is a testament to the Central Bank of Egypt’s major efforts toward financial inclusion and a cashless society. We share the CBE’s objective, and Khazna’s fundamental belief is that world-class financial services should be accessible to everyone. We’re combining cutting-edge technology and an unwavering focus on the user experience to create the best possible experience for our users,” Saleh said.
Khazna launched its first product – Khazna HR – in 2020, to provide financial services like full or part salary advance to employees of its partners.
The funding round had participations from investors like Quona Capital as well as Speedinvest, Nclude, Khawarizmi Ventures, Algebra Ventures, Accion Venture Lab, Disruptech, AB Accelerator by Arab Bank, and CVentures, and a host of others.
The debt financing is provided by Lendable, while Arab Bank Egypt serves as the security agent the facilitated the transaction.
Speaking on Quona Capital’s interest in Khazna, Monica Brand Engel (Quona’s co-founder and managing partner) said:
“Empowering consumers and micro-businesses with Khazna’s convenient, user-centric, and transparent financial super app can enable millions across Egypt to gain greater control over their financial lives. Quona is incredibly excited about Khazna’s roadmap to be the category-leading digital super app for inclusive finance in Egypt.”
As of now, Khazna has raised $47 million since launching about three years ago.
According to Saleh, Khazna’s next goal is to increase the number of users on its platform by one million, by the end of 2022.