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Mastercard Teams Up With Egyptian Fintech Paymob to Boost Digital Payments Across MENA

Key Developments

Mastercard Teams Up With Egyptian Fintech Paymob to Boost Digital Payments Across MENA

Paymob, the leading financial services enabler in the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan (MENA-P), has announced a partnership with Mastercard to accelerate digital payment acceptance across the MENA region.
 

The strategic omnichannel partnership will leverage Paymob’s payments infrastructure and Mastercard’s payments technology to scale the adoption of low-cost solutions among micro, small and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs) in key markets.

The agreement includes the acceleration and enablement of Tap on Phone, e-commerce gateway and payment links solutions.

The collaboration’s focus on low-cost solutions will fast-track mass adoption of digital acceptance among smaller businesses while addressing use cases previously not served by existing solutions.

Access to low-cost solutions supports Mastercard’s global goal of digitizing 50 million small businesses by 2025 and advances Paymob’s commitment to enabling MSMEs to thrive in the digital economy.

MSMEs are the engines of economic growth and vital contributors to the GDP in MENA.

Their digital enablement drives prosperity and fuels financial inclusion as the region advances toward a cashless economy.

Islam Shawky, Co-founder and CEO of Paymob, said:

“This strategic partnership with Mastercard delivers on Paymob’s mission to fuel MSMEs via access to cutting-edge financial solutions. Our joint acceleration of low-cost digital acceptance solutions will lead to greater adoption of digital payments across the region. We are dedicated to creating an environment that ensures MENA MSMEs are empowered to compete in a cashless society.”

Gaurang Shah, EVP of Products & Engineering, EEMEA at Mastercard, said:

“At Mastercard, we are committed to developing fit-for-purpose solutions that enable MSMEs to pay and get paid securely. We are delighted to enter a collaboration with Paymob that builds on our complementary strengths to empower small businesses in the region to reap the full benefits of the thriving digital economy and maximize their participation in sustainable development.”

Mastercard leverages its extensive network, state-of-the-art technology and global partnerships to help MSMEs adapt to changing commercial environments and new spending patterns.

The company serves as a trusted provider of innovative and affordable digital payment solutions tailored to the needs of small businesses, ideally positioning them to diversify and expand.

As the leading omnichannel payments infrastructure provider in Egypt, Paymob offers its merchants the most comprehensive acceptance suite in the market, positioning it as a growth partner to MSMEs.

The partnership with Mastercard follows Paymob’s rapid regional expansion, powered by its Series B funding of USD $50 million in 2022. Beyond Egypt, Paymob serves merchants in KSA, UAE, Oman and Pakistan.

About Mastercard www.mastercard.com

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.

About Paymob

Paymob is the leading financial services enabler in the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan (MENAP), delivering cutting-edge financial technologies to customers in the region. Its omnichannel gateway offers more than 40 payment solutions and empowers over 250,000 merchants with access to innovative financial services.

Founded in 2015, Paymob is the largest payments facilitator in MENAP and employs 1,400 team members across the markets it serves. The company launched operations in Pakistan in 2021 and in the UAE in 2022. Paymob received Saudi Payments PTSP certification in May 2023 enabling it to launch its operation in KSA. In December 2023 Paymob was a granted PSP license in Oman.

The Company is backed by regional and global investors including PayPal Ventures, Kora Capital, Clay Point Capital, Global Ventures, FMO, A15 and Nclude.

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African Cooling Tech Pioneer Inspira Cooling Secures $1 Million Investment From CEI Africa to Combat Food Loss

New Investments

African Cooling Tech Pioneer Inspira Cooling Secures $1 Million Investment From CEI Africa to Combat Food Loss

InspiraFarms Cooling, a leading provider of sustainable cooling solutions for Africa’s fresh produce industry, has secured a €1 million investment from the Foundation for Clean Energy and Energy Inclusion for Africa (CEI Africa).
 

This strategic partnership aims to expand access to efficient cold storage infrastructure across the continent, tackling food waste and empowering rural communities.

Only 5% of African fresh produce enters the cold chain compared to Europe’s 94%. This stark disparity results in devastating losses – 30-50% of food spoils before reaching consumers.

InspiraFarms Cooling has stepped in with its innovative precooling and cold chain technology, tailored for African markets. From cold rooms and pre-coolers to packhouses and long-term storage facilities, their solutions offer:

  • Reduced food loss: Extending shelf life and minimizing spoilage.
  • Lower energy costs: Utilizing renewable energy options for sustainable operation.
  • Market access: Equipping producers to meet stringent export standards.
    Economic empowerment: Generating high-quality rural jobs and boosting incomes.
  • Beyond Profit: CEI Africa’s investment recognizes InspiraFarms Cooling’s commitment to both economic and environmental impact. Their solutions not only combat food waste but also:
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions: Food loss accounts for 3.7% of global GHGs, and minimizing it plays a crucial role in climate change mitigation.
    – Promote renewable energy: Their designs prioritize compatibility with clean energy sources.

InspiraFarms Cooling’s journey embodies the potential of technology to drive positive change.

With CEI Africa’s backing, they are poised to revolutionize Africa’s cold chain landscape, ensuring a future where food loss is minimized, rural communities thrive, and sustainability reigns supreme.

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Kenyan Agri-Fintech Startup Apollo Agriculture Secures $10 Million From Swedfund and ImpactConnect to Empower African Farmers

New Investments

Kenyan Agri-Fintech Startup Apollo Agriculture Secures $10 Million From Swedfund and ImpactConnect to Empower African Farmers

Leading Kenyan agri-fintech startup Apollo Agriculture has secured a $10 million investment from Swedfund and ImpactConnect to fuel its rapid expansion across Africa.
 

This capital injection will enable the company to empower more small-scale farmers with the tools and resources they need to increase their profits, adopt sustainable practices, and boost food security.

Apollo Agriculture leverages cutting-edge technologies like machine learning and automation to address the unique challenges faced by smallholder farmers.

Their platform provides access to top-quality farm inputs, optimized financing and digital advice.

Since its inception, Apollo Agriculture has already made a significant impact, reaching over 350,000 farmers in Kenya and Zambia.

The new investment will allow the company to expand its reach further within Kenya, empowering even more farmers with the digital tools and financial resources they need to thrive.

The funding will not only enhance productivity and profitability but also play a crucial role in promoting sustainable farming practices.

By equipping farmers with the knowledge and resources to adapt to climate change, Apollo Agriculture is contributing to long-term food security across the continent.

Eli Pollak, CEO of Apollo Agriculture, expressed his enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating:

“This partnership with Swedfund and ImpactConnect is a significant milestone for Apollo Agriculture. The investment positions us to rapidly scale our operations, enabling more farmers to access the essential products and financial services they need to feed their families and communities and adapt to climate change.”

“This funding unlocks the potential to serve 400,000 additional farmers during the loan’s term, accelerating Apollo’s growth. We are grateful for the trust and confidence that both Swedfund and ImpactConnect have placed in our vision, and we look forward to achieving transformative growth together.”

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Egypt-Born AI Startup DXwand Secures $4 Million Series A Funding to Fuel Growth

New Investments

Egypt-Born AI Startup DXwand Secures $4 Million Series A Funding to Fuel Growth

DXwand, a leading AI startup operating across Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, has secured $4 million in Series A funding to accelerate its expansion across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
 

The investment round was led by prominent regional investors Shorooq Partners and Algebra Ventures, with participation from existing backer Dubai Future District Fund.

This fresh capital injection will fuel DXwand’s research and development efforts in key areas like knowledge mining, generative AI, and omnichannel conversational AI.

The company’s AI-powered software automates text and voice interactions between businesses, employees, customers, and even government services, available across platforms like call centers, social media, SMS, and websites.

Founded in 2018, DXwand initially focused on building custom chatbots for small businesses.

However, recognizing the need for broader solutions, the company pivoted in 2021 towards corporations and enterprises, offering advanced knowledge mining and Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG) capabilities.

“Our initial goal was to overcome the challenge of developing AI that understands Arabic dialects,” shares Mahmoud, CEO of DXwand. “But success led us to refine our business model, targeting a wider market and achieving profitability.”

Today, DXwand boasts over 200 clients across diverse sectors like healthcare, e-commerce, fintech, and government, with its chatbot serving over 40 businesses in the MENA region.

The company facilitates over five million monthly conversations and generates annual recurring revenue exceeding $5 million, demonstrating impressive 2x year-over-year growth.

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