EGYPT – Blnk, a fintech startup enabling instant consumer credit in Egypt, has raised US$23.7 million in equity and debt financing, and US$8.3 million in securitized bond issuance to accelerate financial inclusion in underserved communities across the country.
The funds will support the further development of Blnk's AI-powered lending infrastructure and the funding of the company's rapidly growing client portfolio.
The combined pre-seed and seed funding rounds of US$12.5 million were led by Abu Dhabi-based Emirates International Investment Company (EIIC), and Sawari Ventures, a prominent Egypt-based venture capital firm, with participation from several prominent local and international angel investors.
Debt financing of US$11.2 million was secured by several leading local banks. The US$8.3 million securitized bond issuance was backed by the National Bank of Egypt and Banque du Caire, making Blnk the youngest Egyptian startup to securitize its loan portfolio.
Launched in October 2021, Blnk has developed a digital lending platform that allows merchants of all sizes to instantly lend and finance their customers' purchases at the point of sale.
With just a National Identification and in just 3 minutes, consumers can access financing to purchase a wide range of products or services, including electronics, furniture and automotive services, paying in installments ranging from 6 to 36 months.
Leveraging its extensive merchant base across Egypt, Blnk has provided over $20 million in loans to date. Traders are also increasing their profitability through the transaction fee that Blnk provides.
“Our mission is to make it easier for more Egyptians to purchase the products and services they want by offering inclusive and convenient consumer credit at the point of sale,” said Amr Sultan, co-founder and CEO of Blnk.
“We are delighted to have the support of a great group of investors at an early stage in our journey. “With your support, we believe we can drive financial inclusion in Egypt as well as the Middle East and North Africa region.”
According to the International Monetary Fund, Egypt is expected to become the second largest Arab and African economy by the end of 2022.
However, the limited penetration of consumer credit, with only 4 percent of Egyptians having credit cards, means that consumers and businesses across the country are unable to take full advantage of opportunities to trade and maximize full economic potential of the country.
By providing inclusive access to financing for consumers across the country, Blnk is supporting further growth and development in the Egyptian economy.
“We are convinced that the Egyptian market and its startup ecosystem present an attractive opportunity for regional and international investors, and we are committed to identifying and investing in businesses that add value,” said Joseph Iskander, head of investments at EIIC.
“We are pleased to partner with Blnk to drive financial inclusion and economic development in Egypt and look forward to working with the team to achieve their goals.”
Hany Al Sonbaty, Managing Partner at Sawari Ventures, stated: “We are excited to have Blnk in our portfolio and support them to provide innovative solutions to address the urgent challenge of financial inclusion in Egypt.
"The company has the right combination of an experienced team and a scalable business model, with a clear path to profitability."