Egyptian fintech platform Blnk, a startup that provides instant consumer credit for Egyptians has raised $32 million in what is one of the biggest funding rounds for an Egyptian startup this year.
The $32 million that Blnk received came in across different stages and funding types. Blnk raised $12.5 million in a combined pre-seed and seed round, $23.7 million in equity and debt, and $8.3 million in securitized bond issuance, according to its CEO Amr Sultan.
Blnk was launched in October 2021 by Ame Sultan and Tarek Elsheikh. The newly-received funds will be used to “accelerate financial inclusion within underserved communities across the country, to support further development of its Artificial Intelligence-powered lending infrastructure,” and to finance the company’s fast-growing portfolio of customers.
The combined pre-seed and seed funding rounds were led by Abu Dhabi’s Emirates International Investment Company (EIIC), and Egypt-based venture capital firm Sawari Ventures. The combined round also received participation from several prominent local and foreign investors.
The debt funding of $11.2 million was secured from a handful of leading local banks in the country, while the $8.3 million securitized bond issuance was underwritten by the National Bank of Egypt and Banque du Caire.
According to the company, customers who use Blnk at the point of sale require a National ID for starters, after which they can access financing in three minutes. “It’s a very fast service. And by being there at the point of sale, we help increase conversion rates and provide affordability products to significantly underserved populations. We’re heavily focused on financial inclusion, especially on how to underwrite people who don’t have a credit history,” CEO Amr Sultan said.
Blnk’s digital lending platform, therefore, empowers merchants across different businesses and sizes to instantly underwrite and finance their customers’ purchases at the point of sale, enabling them access to finance that lets them acquire a range of products such as electronics, automotive services, furniture, etc. Repayment can be made between six to thirty-six months. Blnk says it has disbursed over $20 million to customers in loans to date.
“We are convinced that the Egyptian market and its startup ecosystem present a compelling opportunity for regional and international investors, and we are committed to identifying and investing in value-accretive businesses. We are pleased to partner with Blnk to drive financial inclusion and economic development in Egypt, and we look forward to working with the team to achieve their goals,” Joseph Iskander, the head of investment at lead investor EIIC said while commenting on the investment.