MENAP-focused fintech Hubpay raises $20 million in Series A round.
- Hubpay has launched a cross-border digital wallet to drive financial inclusion across the region, offering zero-cost remittances.
- Signal Peak Ventures led the round, its first investment in the Arabian Gulf, joined by Olive Tree Capital and BECO Capital, and supported by early-stage backers Stormbreaker, Emkan Capital and Aditum.
- Founded in September 2019 and the first startup to be licensed in the UAE for digital money services in 2020.
- Hubpay, which has offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Karachi and London, will be using the proceeds to grow the team and expand internationally.
Hubpay is a digital wallet building bespoke, data-driven financial products accessible to everyone in the world’s most challenging markets. As the first startup to obtain a full Category 3c license in the UAE and now holding In Principle Approval for an EMI license in Pakistan, Hubpay has been able to offer a digital solution to customers looking to send money both domestically and internationally at zero cost.
Hubpay is addressing both the remittance market and the mobile money market by launching a digital wallet for those sending money internationally and those who will use funds domestically. Leveraging transaction volumes and data, Hubpay has multiple products in the pipeline and 2022 will see the company expand operations into new markets across Asia and Africa.
The UAE is the third-largest market for remittances globally, with $47 billion of payments made in 2021. The regional market is vast, with Gulf countries’ remittances exceeding those of the USA, and the majority of these flows going to the fastest growing mobile money markets in the world: India, Pakistan, Philippines, Bangladesh, and Indonesia. The remittance channels provide a direct route to the $3 trillion digital-wallet market across Asia.
Founder and CEO Kevin Kilty remarked: “The fintech market across MENAP is at a turning point. A wave of new digital regulatory regimes has been launched, enabling businesses like Hubpay to offer fully digital solutions to underbanked users. Key eco-system building blocks, such as digital KYC and the ubiquity of smartphones, have created a landscape to drive the largest financial inclusion trends that we’ve seen since Alipay was launched in China”.
A business with social mission at its heart
Hubpay’s financial inclusion mission is guided by the company’s wider focus on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Financial Inclusion is positioned predominantly as an enabler of other SDGs, and the UN has mandated for global remittances to cost under 3%; Hubpay has already dropped this cost to zero. Furthermore, remittance flows have a disproportionate impact in improving the economic lives of women and members of female-headed households. As Hubpay expands its product range and market presence in 2022, the company will offer financial products to remittance receivers that directly address customer needs including both financing and insurance solutions. Hubpay has built an international team, leveraging strong fintech talent in the UK with relevant regional experience to maximise reach and impact.