Jordanian Fintech Gocash has announced a $300K Pre-Seed funding round, from undisclosed angel investors.
Gocash provides an accessible financial services platform, enabling stores in a specific area to act as "virtual ATMs" using a smartphone or POS-system. It democratizes the process of cash distribution in order to reduce the "cost of cash" and help millions of Jordan's unbanked access the financial system.
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Launched in 2020 by Amr Barakat, who previously founded a startup that helped develop and revamp the Jordanian mobile app - "Zain cash", Gocash was created as a result of this experience with Amr questioning why mobile wallets had not taken off despite the millions of dollars being invested in them.
The startup is currently developing a software that will be pilot-tested in Jordan to enable small stores to become "cashpoints." They are also at various stages of engagement with several banks and payment processors in the country to integrate the software into their digital banking platforms.
The MENA region has a high volume of cash transactions and a low quantity of cash dispensers (in 2020, banked and underbanked users in Jordan made more than 50M cash-out transactions from ATMs). In Jordan alone, Gocash estimates that banks together spent over $25M last year to maintain ATMs, including rental, power supply, and armored vans. ATMs are expensive for banks to install/operate, yet over 75% of all consumer payments continuing to happen using cash, the startup states.
With the slow pace of financial inclusion and the high cost of financial services to expand by opening branches or by installing expensive ATMs in rural areas, Gocash's vision is to make everyday life easier for users by building a cash dispenser agent network.
Amr Barakat, CEO and Founder commented, "The global ATM market is one of the few areas in banking where technology has not really made any positive impact. We are jumping at this opportunity and this is how GoCash was born. Our mission is to make cash available around every corner, grow our network to the wider MENA region, and strengthen our cash management and availability algorithm, to assure we can partner with giants such as PayPal."
Gocash are looking to create a location-based matchmaking platform that connects those who want to withdraw cash with those who want to deposit cash – typically, a shop owner. They will not only reduce cash management efforts, but will also receive a commission on each transaction, increase foot traffic, and sales opportunities.
Amr added, "We want to support the rise of financial inclusion and help unbanked families to be in a better place and to access more financial services through our COCI Network. Our vision is for GoCash to disrupt the ATM industry by democratizing the process of cash distribution. What UBER is to taxis, Airbnb to hotels, GoCash is for ATMs."
The new investment will fund the acceleration of product development and expansion of the Gocash network.