Giza, Egypt – Blnk, a fintech startup that enables instant consumer credit in Egypt, raised $23.7m in equity and debt financing, and $8.3m in bond issuance to accelerate financial inclusion in underserved communities across the country. The funds will support the development of Blnk’s artificial intelligence-based lending infrastructure and funding of the company’s rapidly growing client portfolio.
The combined $12.5m pre-seed and seed funding rounds were led by Emirates International Investment Company (EIIC) of Abu Dhabi and leading Egypt-based venture capital firm Sawari Ventures, with the participation of several leading local and international angel investors. Debt financing of $11.2 million was secured from a number of major local banks. The $8.3m securitized bond issue was underwritten by the National Bank of Egypt and Bank of Cairo, making Blnk the youngest Egyptian startup to securitize its loan portfolio.
Launched in October 2021, Blnk has developed a digital lending platform that allows merchants of all sizes to instantly underwrite and finance their customers’ purchases at the point of sale. With only a national ID and in as little as 3 minutes, consumers can access financing to purchase a wide range of products or services, including electronics, furniture and automotive services, by paying installments ranging from 6 to 36 months. Leveraging its extensive merchant branch base across Egypt, Blnk has disbursed over $20 million in loans to date. Traders also increase their profitability through the transaction fee provided by Blnk.
According to the International Monetary Fund, Egypt is expected to become the second largest Arab and African economy by the end of 2022. However, limited consumer credit penetration – only 4% of Egyptians have credit cards – means that consumers and businesses across the country are unable to take full advantage of business opportunities and maximize the country’s full economic potential. By providing inclusive access to finance to consumers across the country, Blnk supports the growth and development of the Egyptian economy.
Speaking about the new funding, Amr Sultan, co-founder and CEO of Blnk, said: “Our mission is to make it easier for more Egyptians to buy the products and services they want by offering consumer credit. inclusive and convenient at the point of sale. We are delighted to have the support of a large cohort of investors at an early stage in our journey. With their support, we believe we can foster financial inclusion in Egypt, as well as the wider Middle East and North Africa region.”
Joseph Iskander, Chief Investment Officer at EIIC, said: “We are convinced that the Egyptian market and its ecosystem of startups present a compelling opportunity for regional and international investors and we are committed to identifying and investing in value-added companies. . We are delighted to partner with Blnk to drive financial inclusion and economic development in Egypt and look forward to working with the team to achieve their goals.”
Hany Al Sonbaty, Managing Partner at Sawari Ventures, said, “We are delighted to have Blnk in our portfolio and to support them in delivering innovative solutions to address the pressing challenge of financial inclusion in Egypt. The company has the right combination of a seasoned team and a scalable business model, with a clear path to profitability.”
Co-founded in 2021 by Amr Sultan and Tarek Elsheikh, Blnk is an AI-powered consumer finance digital platform that drives financial inclusion in the Middle East and North Africa through innovative technology solutions. From Egypt, Blnk offers merchants instant credit onboarding and underwriting technology to provide financing to their customers at the point of sale.
Consumers can access Blnk’s services at their preferred stores within Blnk’s merchant network, with just their national ID card. In as little as 3 minutes, consumers get financing with payment terms of up to 36 months.
For more information, visit: https://www.blnk.ai/
About Emirates International Investment Company LLC (EIIC)
Emirates International Investment Company LLC (EIIC) is the strategic investment vehicle of National Holding, an Abu Dhabi-based group with strategic investments in key sectors in the UAE and MENA region. Since the early 1990s, EIIC has been a major investor in the MENA region and globally.
EIIC is a patient, long-term investor seeking sustainable growth and value creation across its investment portfolio. The company has made long-term strategic investments in a number of regional and international companies, such as the Islamic Bank of Abu Dhabi (the 4th largest Islamic bank in the world by assets), ADIB – Egypt (formerly National Development Bank), Q Holding and Abu Dhabi National Hotels, which owns some of the most reputable hotels in the United Arab Emirates. EIIC is also an active investor in regional and global capital markets, private equity and venture capital.
For more information, please see: https://www.nh.ae/our-businesses/eiic/
About Sawari Ventures:
Founded in 2010, Sawari Ventures is one of the first and leading venture capital firms in Egypt. Sawari invests in people, turning visionary ideas into market-leading companies. Through its Egypt and North Africa-focused funds, Sawari Ventures has invested in more than 20 companies, supporting several successful tech companies such as SWVL, Fatura, Moneyfellows and Si-Ware. Sawari is also an early and crucial backer of Flat6Labs, the MENA region’s premier seed and early-stage venture capital firm.
For more information, visit: https://sawariventures.com/