Dubai-based fintech, digital wallet, and payments platform Mamo secured a license to operate from the leading global financial center and innovation hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
The innovation testing license was granted to Mamo by the DIFC, a move that would allow the startup to trial its products under conditions defined by the free zone’s regulator.
“We are empowering users, through our Mamo Pay app, with a simpler, faster, friendlier way to send and receive money instantly. Our ambition is to add value, strengthen the financial ecosystem and accelerate the future of finance in the UAE and beyond,” Mohammed El Saadi, chief executive, and co-founder of Mamo.
Last month, Mamo raised $8 million in a funding round led by UAE-based venture capital firm Global Ventures to boost its digital payment services and expand its operations in the Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
The startup’s other backers include New York venture capital firm 4DX Ventures, Saudi Arabia’s AlRajhi Partners, Boston’s Olive Tree Capital and investors from Silicon Valley.
“We are delighted to welcome Mamo to our community, which is now the largest cluster of finance, fintech and innovation companies in the region and provides Mamo with the ecosystem to achieve their growth ambitions,” said Salmaan Jaffery, chief business development officer at the DIFC Authority.
Fintech companies have benefitted from a coronavirus-fuelled surge in digital payments as fear of contagion led users to shun cash. About $135 million was invested in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s fintech firms last year, the highest amount since 2017, according to Magnitt, a startup data platform.
The peer-to-peer payments space in the Middle East is expected to grow to $115 billion by 2023, from $22 billion in 2019, according to Mamo. The company said there are 1.7 million unbanked people in the UAE, which is 32 percent of the total working population.
“Mamo will address this segment and provide access to the broader financial system in line with a vision for financial inclusivity and independence,” the company said.