Cairo’s fintech startup Blnk bags $32 million to enable instant consumer credit for the underserved in Egypt
As tech startups in the United States and Europe struggle to raise new funding, fintech startups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region continue to thrive as they empower and democratize finance for customers and underserved SMEs.
In a sign of healthy funding growth in the region, Blnk, a fintech startup that enables instant consumer credit in Egypt, announced today it has raised $23.7 million in equity and debt funding and $8.3 million in securitized bond issuance to accelerate financial inclusion within underserved communities across the country.
The combined pre-seed and seed funding rounds of $12.5 million was led by Abu Dhabi’s Emirates International Investment Company (EIIC) and Egypt-based, leading venture capital firm Sawari Ventures, with participation from several prominent local and international angel investors. The $11.2 million debt funding was secured from a number of leading local banks. The $8.3 million securitized bond issuance was underwritten by the National Bank of Egypt and Banque du Caire, making Blnk the youngest Egyptian startup to securitize its loan book.
Blnk will use the new cash infusion to support further development of its Artificial Intelligence-powered lending infrastructure and the financing of the company’s fast-growing portfolio of customers.
Founded in 2021 by CEO Amr Sultan and Tarek Elsheikh, Blnk is an AI-enabled digital consumer finance platform that is driving financial inclusion in the Middle East and North Africa through innovative technology solutions. Starting in Egypt, Blnk empowers merchants with onboarding and instant credit-underwriting technology to provide financing for their customers at the point of sale.
The one-year-old Blnk has developed a digital lending platform that empowers merchants of all sizes to instantly underwrite and finance their customers’ purchases at the point of sale.
In as little as 3 minutes, consumers in Egypt can get access to financing to purchase a wide range of products or services, including electronics, furniture, and automotive services, paying over installments ranging from 6 to 36 months. All they have to do is provide their National ID.
In a statement, CEO Amr Sultan said, “Our mission is to make it easier for more Egyptians to purchase the products and services they desire by offering inclusive and convenient consumer credit at the point of sale. We are delighted to have the backing of a great cohort of investors at an early stage in our journey. With their support, we believe we can drive financial inclusion in Egypt, as well as the wider Middle East and North Africa region”.
Joseph Iskander, Head of Investment at EIIC, said “we are convinced that the Egyptian market and its startup ecosystem present a compelling opportunity for regional and international investors and we are committed to identifying and investing in value accretive businesses. We are pleased to partner with Blnk to drive financial inclusion and economic development in Egypt and we look forward to working with the team to achieve their goals”.
Hany Al Sonbaty, Managing Partner at Sawari Ventures, stated: “we are thrilled to have Blnk in our portfolio and backing them to deliver innovative solutions to tackle the urgent 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”.