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Agel secures seven-digit funding for Islamic fintech in Egypt

Agel celebrate the successful closure of their pre-seed funding round, marking a significant milestone for Egypt’s Islamic fintech industry. Photo: Supplied
Agel celebrate the successful closure of their pre-seed funding round, marking a significant milestone for Egypt’s Islamic fintech industry. Photo: Supplied

Agel, Egypt’s pioneering Islamic fintech company, has announced the successful closure of its pre-seed funding round for an undisclosed amount in the seven-digit range.

The investment round was led by prominent MENA-focused venture capital firms, Plus Venture Capital (+VC) and Seedstars International Ventures, along with Flat6labs. SEEDRA Ventures, Banque Misr, and notable angel investors also participated in the round.

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Agel aims to revolutionise traditional financial services by providing alternative financing options tailored to the needs of Egypt’s Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The company’s mission is to offer customised, digital, cashless, and Sharia-compliant financing products, including Murabaha, a cost-plus financing model adhering to Islamic principles.

Founded in October 2021 by Abdelrahman Saeed and Ahmed El Sherbiny, Agel identified a significant opportunity to address the financing needs of the MSME sector in Egypt. Their vision involved reshaping traditional financial services and offering an alternative financing option to cater specifically to this underserved market segment.

Agel’s strategy revolves around empowering merchants by providing them with the necessary financing to procure goods and supplies on credit from a network of industry-focused suppliers.

Simultaneously, the company assists suppliers in boosting sales by facilitating on-credit transactions and managing commercial transactions seamlessly through its app. In its inaugural year of operations, Agel focused on Egypt’s $15 billion textiles industry, establishing the largest fashion-focused network of suppliers. The company now plans to diversify its offerings to other lucrative industries contributing approximately $85 billion annually.

Commenting on the recent funding round, Abdelrahman Saeed, CEO of Agel, expressed his pride in securing support from prominent regional investors who bring not only financial backing but also invaluable industry knowledge and experience. He stated, “Their confidence in our business model will enable us to reach our objectives and take our operations to the next level.”

The newly raised funds will be utilised to transform Agel into a licensed non-banking financial institution, accelerate advanced product development to cater to the growing customer base, and expand the company’s presence in major cities across Egypt.

Agel also plans to launch a co-branded banking card service for merchants in partnership with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) and introduce other value-added services. This expansion aligns with Egypt’s 2030 vision of financial inclusion and supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN Global, SDG).

Hasan Haider, managing partner at +VC, expressed excitement about investing in Agel, citing the company’s significant growth potential. He highlighted how Agel’s innovative solution for quick and easy Sharia-compliant payment options addresses the limited financing options that continue to hamper MSMEs in Egypt. +VC looks forward to supporting Agel as it solidifies its position as a pioneer in the Islamic fintech space.

Patricia Sosrdojojo, general partner at Seedstars International Ventures, acknowledged the fintech start-up boom in Egypt but recognised the persistent challenge of limited access to finance for MSMEs.

Sosrdojojo praised Agel for digitising the lending and procurement processes for informal SMEs, bringing efficiency and accessibility to the market. Seedstars International Ventures is delighted to partner with Agel and commends their team for executing such a plan successfully.

Ahmed El-Sherbiny, COO of Agel, shared the positive response they have received from merchants since the company’s launch. He noted the significant increase in demand for their services, thanks to their unique approach to financing for MSMEs.

As Agel further enhances its product capabilities, El-Sherbiny expressed confidence in introducing more convenient payment options to meet client needs. Agel aims to establish itself as the preferred platform not only in Egypt but also beyond its borders.

Dina El-Shenoufy, chief investment officer of Flat6Labs, emphasised their excitement about investing in Agel and supporting its mission to revolutionise the fintech landscape for MSMEs in Egypt.

El-Shenoufy expressed confidence in the team’s ability to scale and expand operations to meet the unique needs of merchants and suppliers. Flat6Labs looks forward to continuing its support for Agel’s journey toward increasing financial inclusion in Egypt and beyond.

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