Bahrain-based online payment processing company Paytabs is in talks with investors to raise financing to help fund the expansion of its footprint beyond its Middle Eastern home base, according to the company’s CEO and founder Abdulaziz Aljouf.
“We are raising our third round [of funding],” Al Jouf told Accelerate SME in an interview at the company’s Dubai office last month.
Last August, the company raised $20 million in funding from a group of undisclosed sources, the largest investment for a fintech start-up based in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Wa’ed Ventures, Saudi Aramco’s venture capital arm, was the sole early investor in the company and also participated in the series B round.
Aljouf declined to comment on the size of the new fundraising round or the time frame expected to close the investment, but said the deal was moving “really fast”.
He explained that the company, which was recently ranked number one in Forbes’ Top 20 Fintech Start-ups in the Middle East, will use the fresh funds to expand its human capital, push its brand equity and work on a number of acquisitions.
“I think we are at a stage where we want to position the brand on a continental scale,” Aljouf said, adding: “We are focused on the entire continent of Asia. Today the Middle East is our second market and APAC (Asia-Pacific) is our main market.”
Aljouf added that the Saudi start-up, which was established in 2014 and set up a base in Bahrain’s FinTech Bay in May last year, is working on a number of acquisitions in Africa, the Middle East and Asia that would complement PayTab’s offering in the market and allow them to expand their reach globally.
(Reporting by Reem Wafai; Editing by Walid El Tigi and Shane McGinley)
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