UAE-based digital account service, NOW Money has raised $7 million in a funding round led by venture investor, Anthemis Exponential Ventures.
Anthemis Exponential Ventures was joined by a consortium of investors including Knuru Capital, Wamda, Commercial Bank of Dubai, DIFC FinTech Fund, Accion Venture Lab, Greenhouse Capital, and Hambro Perks Oryx Fund, amongst others.
NOW Money has also obtained funding from Expo 2020 and card scheme, Visa. The funding secured by NOW Money is the most significant, multinational fintech deal to date in the Middle East.
The funds will be used to drive NOW Money forward in Saudi Arabia, starting from new hires and local infrastructure in Riyadh. Furthermore, the funding will allow NOW Money to expand its service offerings and continue its rapid growth in the UAE.
“This funding is a significant milestone for NOW Money. We are eager to build on our progress to date and realize our vision of creating a world where everyone has instant access to financial services they can, and want, to use. The investment has brought us the financial support needed to scale our expansion plans across the GCC, as well as strategic value and partnerships from each of our investors. There is no venture capital better placed than Anthemis Exponential Ventures to have led this deal, especially alongside other such high calibre Western and Middle Eastern funds. Two of our key partners, Commercial Bank of Dubai and Visa, have also played a critical role.”
Ms. Katharine Budd, Co-Founder of NOW Money stated, “Initially, we were met with skepticism about a digital financial service, but the success of mobile money in South and East Asia gave us faith that mobile banking would be a sustainable solution for the millions of people who find themselves overlooked by traditional Middle Eastern banking options. We are excited to expand our team and build our customer and partnership base to truly democratize financial services and make money easy, for everyone, every day.”
The world’s leading fintech investor Ms. Vica Manos, Partner at Anthemis Group, led the transaction. “One of the most impactful actions a company can take is to provide fair and sustainable access to finance, and NOW Money does exactly that. By opening up financial services to some of the most deeply left-out individuals, we’re confident that Katharine, Ian, and the rest of the team can achieve genuine impact, changing the face of financial services in a region that right now is showing tremendous promise,” commented Ms. Manos.
Mr. Alain Dib, CEO of Knuru Capital said, “We were impressed by how NOW Money has solved many challenges and pain points, working with numerous stakeholders and partners to now be in a position to scale dramatically and bank millions of unbanked. We are very excited to be part of the journey.”
Founded in 2016, NOW Money is the first fintech company in the Gulf to use mobile banking technology to provide accounts, low-cost remittance, and other financial services to migrant workers. It works with companies to offer a full-service digital payroll solution. Customers can use the NOW Money app to access low-cost financial services such as mobile top-up, bill pay, and remittance.