Egypt’s Thndr has raised $20 million in a Series A round co-led by Tiger Global, BECO Capital and Prosus Ventures. The platform which is helping fill the investment gap in the continent makes it easier for people to open and manage investment accounts. With the funds, the startup wants to bring freedom and ease to the way people in the Middle East and North African (MENA) regions invest in financial instruments. It wants to accommodate the undeserved who do not have access to investing in financial instruments.
Thndr came into the picture in 2020 and was founded by Ahmad Hammouda and Seif Amr. The startup is leveraging technology to replace the traditional investment system known to be slow and characterized by difficulties.
Seif Amr, who is the Chief Operating Officer of the company, mentioned that “The first investment that 75% of our users have done was with less than $500. Without Thndr, these people wouldn’t even be able to open a brokerage account elsewhere because this is much less than the minimum account balances needed to open an account”.
Thndr, which understands that its target audience includes mostly people who are financially not literate, has been helping its users gain knowledge about investment through simulators, articles, videos, webinars, newsletters, etc. Its platform is very user-focused and highly intuitive and ensures people do not face difficulties while using and do not have to come to a physical location to open an account.
Thndr is doing quite well for a young startup and its only shortcoming is that it doesn’t provide users with access to US stocks. Users can basically only invest in the Egyptian stock market and mutual funds using the platform. The startup may have to start offering US stocks if it plans on staying above the competition from similar rivals like Bamboo and Chaka which provides access to US stocks.
For a young startup providing only local stocks, Thndr has been able to gather over 300,000 downloads. The Chief Operating Officer is of the opinion that this was possible because users like how easy to use and accessible the platform is as well as the brands that Thndr is associated with. “They see these brands daily; they use, love and want to be part of the growth avenue of these brands. We see that from an understandability and an association perspective, Egyptians are inclined towards Egyptian products”, the COO said.
Users who want to remain loyal to the platform and intend to invest in foreign stocks may not wait for so long to do that as Thndr is already seeking to acquire licenses that will enable it to be able to offer these stocks. “We’re big on building an investment supermarket. At the end of the day, what we want to build is that everyone in the Middle East, from his phone, has access to different investment products, whether they are international investment products or locally relevant investment products. We will continue to add investment products; we are already in partnership with a partner broker and have been working with them over the last six months to launch U.S. securities in the region”, CEO Ahmad Hammouda said.
Thndr which has raised a total of $22 million in funding will channel its new fund into product development and expansion across the MENA region.