EGYPT – NowPay, fintech startup, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Export Development Bank of Egypt (EBE) for a credit facility to fund NowPay’s current salary advances product and to cover adding more products.
This comes as EBE strives to accelerate financial inclusion by partnering with startups. The latest partnership deal is one of the earliest in Egypt between a traditional bank and a fintech company.
“We believe that the cooperation with Export Development Bank of Egypt will assist in growing our current business model in addition to offering more innovative fintech products to users,” said Gehan Fathi, Head of Financial Partnerships at NowPay.
NowPay allows corporate employees to get their salaries in advance any time in the month through its mobile app, which means access to emergency funding anytime, hence better manage their budget.
Launched in 2019, NowPay aims at lowering employees’ financial stress by improving the four pillars of financial wellness for employees: saving, spending, budgeting, and borrowing.
The company most recently raised US$2.1 million in seed investment in May 2020 in a round led by Foundation Ventures and Endure Capital and investors from the U.S., UAE, China, and Egypt.
The investors’ cluster includes BECO Capital, 500 Startups, Plug and Play, 4dx Ventures, MSA Capital, EFG-EV Fintech, and Ebtikar. Prominent Angel investors such as Quirky Ventures, Gehan Fathi, and Rolaco also participated in the round.
The company had raised US$600,000 in seed funding from Endure Capital and 500 Startups in 2019.
To date, NowPay has managed over US$200 million in salaries and signed many leading companies, including SODIC, Wadi Degla, Domty, and Axa.
Founded by Mostafa Ashour and Ahmed Sabry, NowPay launched the financial wellness platform in 2019 to enable corporates to offer salary advances to their employees.
They have recently also added Gehan Fathi, who previously worked as Managing Director at EFG (and joined this round as an angel) and Mahmoud ElHosseiny who managed Egypt sales for Fortune 500 company Stanley-Black Decker to their executive team.
The employees of companies that partner with NowPay can request their salary (or a part of it) at any time of the month through its mobile app.
The account has to be validated by the employer before it can be used to request advances. Once the account is approved, they can also see the details of their salary and how much are they eligible to request as advance.
The mobile app also enables users to manage and track their savings, expenses, and offers them financial recommendations. NowPay’s website says that its solution is Shariah-compliant. For employers, it is free. The employees, however, are charged a fee every time they use it.
So far, the startup has raised US$2.7 million from investors, including from leading investors such as Beco Capital, 500 Startups (MENA), Plug and Play, 4Dx Ventures, MSA Capital, EFG-EV Fintech, Ebikar; as well as angels including Quirky Ventures, Gehan Fathi and Rolaco.
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