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Fintech Pyypl mulls more fundraising amid investor demand

Pyypl, the Mena-focused financial services platform, plans to fund further expansion in Africa
  • Pyypl has raised nearly $40m since 2017
  • Mena startups raised $646m in 69 deals in October
  • UAE attracts majority of startup funding

Pyypl, the Middle East and Africa (Mena) focused financial services platform, is mulling plans for a new fundraising drive after closing its Series B raise of $20 million.

The company said it is considering opening a second tranche for further investment due to interest from investors.

Since inception in 2017, Pyypl has raised almost $40 million and the latest raise will enable the company to further expand its reach across the region. 

It is just one of the startups in the Mena region that raised $646 million across 69 deals during October, taking the total raised so far this year to $3 billion spread over 551 deals. 

According to data from Wamda, the cumulative deal value saw a 273 percent increase from the $173 million raised in September, and 331 percent year-on-year growth. The UAE attracted the majority of funding with $460 million raised across 24 deals.

Already one of the fastest-growing fintechs in the Middle East, Pyypl has also  grown over four times in terms of user numbers, transaction volumes and revenues since its Series A fundraising last year.

The business is targeting growth in Africa at a time when the digital transformation of customs and borders is expected to yield trade gains on the continent of $20 billion a year. 

Portrait, Head, Photography
Antti Arponen, co-founder and CEO of Pyypl

The firm offers key financial services in one app to the 800 million smartphone users across Africa and the Middle East, which it says are financially underserved. 

Pyypl’s co-founder and CEO Antti Arponen said: “We welcome our new investors and appreciate the further investment from our existing shareholders in support of our financial inclusion journey.

“We have grown significantly since our Series A round and are excited to enter the next phase of growth and capability. This is just the beginning.”

According to a World Economic Forum report published earlier this year, a number of African countries are making efforts to build better trade networks by embarking on more integrated digital reforms that can drive higher impact through public-private partnerships.

In a recent interview with AGBI, Arponen, who previously worked at Virgin Mobile in Mena, said: “We see that in the Middle East and Africa there’s so much potential.

“It’s the fastest growing e-commerce market, and one of the fastest mobile app markets. The demand for services is growing. We’re expanding into multiple markets. We have a pipeline of advanced approval notices.” 

Currently operating in the UAE, Bahrain, Kenya and Mozambique, he said he expects to be in “six or seven countries” by the end of the year.

The Mena region has two billion people and a high adoption rate of smartphones. But the majority lack access to essential financial services and there is no multi-billion dollar fintech company, such as Revolut (Europe), Chime (North America), Nubank (Latin America) or Ant Financial (Asia).

Arponen said swathes of people, despite having a mobile phone and internet connection, are either unbanked, or under-served in their daily financial services.

Fintech sector growth has been stunning in recent years and is still on an exponential path. There are approximately 500 fintechs in the region, and are still trending upward. 

Traditional banks are racing to keep up with sector developments by offering digital branches and improving their online offerings.

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