Tabby raised $23 million in one of the biggest Series A funding rounds of the MENA Region. Hossam Arab founded Tabby in 2019 which works to provide a “buy now, pay later” service. Tabby partners with retailers to offer their customers online or in-store the ability to defer paying for their purchases for up to 30 days or to pay in four equal monthly installments at zero cost to the consumer. Today, Tabby’s customers are able to use its service across more than 500 integrated merchants across the UAE and Saudi Arabia
We spoke with Hossam Arab, Founder and CEO of Tabby, and Tala Al Jabri, a partner at HOF Capital, one of the company’s investors, about the new financing round and the company’s plans for the future.
“These funds will be used to scale our teams specifically on the product and engineering front. Moreover, they will give us the capital required to work with large retailers,” Arab says to WAYA. “Our goal is to make Tabby the most popular way for consumers to pay. In order to get there, we need to ensure we build products that consumers trust, value and engage with.”
Arab believes that the biggest challenges they faced was to educate consumers about a relatively new idea in the market. He explains, “We need to directly address customer concerns relevant to a financial product and ensure full transparency, while not speaking to the consumer directly given that our primary relationship is with the retailer.”
WAYA also asked Tabby’s founder about what he look for in investors other than capital. He said, “Investors must be able to clearly demonstrate value to their portfolio companies. This value can come in many forms including know-how, market access, regulatory help, access to deeper capital etc. We also seek investors who are easy to work with and give us the room to execute.”
Tala Al Jabri, a partner at HOF capital and one of Tabby’s investors expands on this point, ““Seeking tangible ways we can support a founding team’s journey to achieve their vision is in HOF Capital’s DNA. HOF is distinctive in that it is able to bring many variables to accelerate our portfolio’s companies’ journey. Being a global fund, with offices in NYC, SF and Abu Dhabi, HOF is able to draw from the highest caliber of talent, resources and expertise. In the case of the BNPL model, we have been building our knowledge and network for some time, as demonstrated by our investment in Klarna which is about to IPO.”
According to Al Jabri “Tabby has an acute understanding of the needs of consumers. The team has built a MENA-first model that addresses pain-points that are unique to the region and that has application in other emerging markets. Leading retailers recognize this and it is because of these factors that they have chosen to partner with Tabby.”
Regarding Tabby’s future plans, Arab concludes, “Our goal is to make tabby the most popular way for consumers to pay. In order to get there, we need to ensure we build products that consumers trust, value and engage with.”
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