Ziina, the Dubai-born peer-to-peer payment services startup, has raised $7.5 million in seed funding to bring its fintech solution across the MENA region.
The Y Combinator-backed startup has secured several fruitful funding rounds throughout 2020. However, this round stands out for the heavyweight roster of investors leading it. Top global investors and fintech entrepreneurs have fuelled Ziina’s latest round.
Led by Avenir Growth and Class 5 Global, as well as participation by Wamda Capital, FJ Labs, Technology Fund’s Jasoor Ventures and ANIM, the funding will be used to launch a slew of new digital payment features, as well as expand its current offerings across the region. On top of the several entities taking part in the investment, several founders and executives from renowned fintech veterans joined in, such as Checkout, Paypal and Venmo.
Coupled with a $850,000 pre-seed raised in May 2020, and $125,000 after participating in Y Combinator’s Winter batch in 2021, this brings Ziina’s total funds raised to $8.6 million in little over a year since its founding, according to the company.
The service’s simplicity has helped rocket its notability across the market. Founded amid the Coronavirus pandemic, right in the thick of steady demand for fintech solutions, Ziina Is led by Faisal Toukan, Sarah Toukan and Andrew Gold. The service enables users to send and receive payments using only their phone number, without any lengthy banking procedures.
“This round will fuel our expansion plans into Saudi Arabia and support the launch of our highly anticipated wallet feature, which we will be introducing along with our new banking partner shortly,” said Faisak Toukan, CEO of Ziina. “We will also use this financing to continue to attract global talent to further elevate Ziina’s product and bring the application to the centre of ours users’ daily finances.”
Coinciding with Ziina’s launch, the start of the COVID-19 crisis in H1 2020 saw fintech climb atop all sectors to become the one with the greatest number of deals in the MENA region. This paved the way for startups such as Ziina to gain, not only funding opportunities, but instant prominence for providing tech-enabled solutions.
“We are in constant conversation with our users to find creative ways to make their payments experience natural and delightful. As a result, the social aspect of payments has become the focal point of our product,” Toukan added. “We are building an experience where our customers can benefit from having their families and social circles on the app. In the future, we want Ziina to be the centrepiece of people’s finances.”
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