UAE- based Digital Banking Start-up Raises $41mn

Dubai:  A United Arab Emirates-based digital bank YAP raised $41 million and is planning on expanding into Saudi Arabia with the help of a partnership with a traditional bank in the country, the bank said on Monday. 

The start-up will partner with AlJazira Bank to offer its consumers business banking services in Saudi Arabia, the Bank said. YAP has so far signed up over 130,000 users to its app, the digital bank said. The start-up was launched in 2021, partnered with Emirati lender RAK Bank and became UAE’s first independent digital banking platform. 

The investors for the said purpose in the Series A round are intended to be closed by YAP by the end of the year. The investors include Saudi Arabia’s Aljazira Capital, Abu Dawood Group, Astra Group, and Audacia Capital.

YAP has also received regulatory approval to launch services in Pakistan and Ghana, and it would soon expand to Egypt, and many Arab nations, a statement released by the officials said. 

Chief Executive and co-founder Marwan Hachem in an interview said, "We just got the EMI (electronic money institutions) license in Pakistan and PSP (payment service provider) in Ghana, same thing in Saudi Arabia. Together with the bank, we are going to apply to the central bank,"

Managing Director and co-founder Anas Zidan of YAP said that it has also partnered with Bank AlJazira in Saudi Arabia, where it will soft-launch later this year, and will be going fully live in the first quarter of next year. "That's a very important step for us because we believe Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest markets in the Middle East," Zidan said

YAP is planning on launching in Pakistan and Ghana by the end of the year where it is currently monitoring the situation, whereas in Egypt it will be launching the next year.  CEO Hachem said YAP would target serving the significant remittance market of Pakistani workers employed in the Gulf who send billions of dollars to home each year.


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