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MoneyFellows, a Cairo-based collaborative group lending and savings platform, has raised over $1-million in a pre-Series-A funding round.
Tech publication Menabytes reported in an exclusive article yesterday (4 August) that 500 Startups, Dubai Angel Investors, and Phoenician Funds along with other unnamed individual investors participated in the round.
MoneyFellows was founded in 2016 by CEO Ahmed Wadi (pictured above).
The startup’s platform helps users manage money circles by digitising the informal traditional rotating savings and credit association model. The platform’s features include salary automated deductions, fixed payout dates as well as smart scoring system.
MoneyFellows intends to raise a $3-million Series-A round by the end of the year
Since its launch last year, the platform has acquired over 250 000 registered users, 65 000 of them monthly active users.
MoneyFellows senior business strategist Mohamed Effat explained in an email today to Ventureburn that the round will be directed towards the fintech’s latest software release which he said includes new features and user experience improvements.
In addition, Effat said the investment will be used to provide users with several new digital payment methods which he said include new ewallets and direct debit facilitated by the startup’s banking partners.
“We aim to use this money to develop greater awareness about MoneyFellows in the Egyptian market, increasing our steadily growing user base, and reach a greater number of Egyptians with limited access to credit, enabling them to reach their saving and financial needs,” said Effat.
Effat said MoneyFellows’ initial plans are to target Jordan, the UAE and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The startup also has further plans to expand to Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. These countries, Effat pointed out, have young rapidly growing tech-savvy populations, low banking penetration and a prevalence and familiarity of rotating savings and credit associations.
Furthermore, MoneyFellows plans on integrating ewallets into its app.
Effat explained that this will provide the platform’s users with a “greater number of methods” to pay-in and receive payouts.
“We are working towards allowing MoneyFellows users in making bill payments and developing Merchant Acceptance where users can utilise their credit at a variety of merchant locations,” he said.
60% month-on-month growth
He said the startup has signed deals with over 60 major corporations in Egypt, some of these include VW, Swvl, Panda and Wuzzuf.
In addition, the fintech has a 60% month-on-month growth rate for its paying users.
“We have generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue thus far, with over $5-million circulating through MoneyFellows,” he added.
$3-million Series-A round by year end
MoneyFellows now intends to hold a $3-million Series-A round by the end of the year.
“After our Series A funding we will mainly be dedicating these funds to our international expansion and establishing beach-heads internationally in the aforementioned countries, and fostering financial inclusion globally for marginalised people who have little to no access to credit, to allow them to meet their financial and saving needs and improve their quality of living,” said Effat.
According to business intelligence platform Crunchbase, MoneyFellows has raised a total of $1.6-million in funding to date.
Prior to this latest round, the fintech’s last biggest deal was a $600 000 seed investment round by Dubai Angel Investors, 500 Startups and several other unnamed angels.
The Startupbootcamp FinTech London alumni also said it had raised over $50 000 in 2016 from the accelerator as well as Flat6Labs 1864 accelerator and other individual investors.
Featured image: Moneyfellows founder and CEO Ahmed Wadi (Supplied)