Dubai's NOW Money raises $7M in fresh funds

NOW Money, the digital banking solution platform for low-income migrant workers, has secured $7M in a funding round led by Anthemis Exponential Ventures, with participation from several other investors, including Knuru CapitalWamdaCommercial Bank of DubaiDIFC FinTech FundAccion Venture LabGreenhouse Capital, and Hambro Perks Oryx Fund.

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Founded in 2016, NOW Money uses mobile banking technology to provide accounts, low-cost remittance, and other financial services to migrant workers.

NOW Money partners with businesses to provide an end-to-end digital payroll solution. Every company has access to a unique payroll portal – a hassle-free way to transfer employee salaries and other financial-based rewards – and every employee is issued with a contactless-enabled Visa card and receives their salary directly into the NOW Money app. It gives all customers in-app access to low-cost financial services including mobile top-up, bill pay, and remittance, the latter of which enables a quick, safe and cost-effective way to remit money overseas.

Ian Dillon, Co-Founder of NOW Money said, “This funding is a significant milestone for NOW Money. We are eager to build on our progress to date and realise our vision of creating a world where everyone has instant access to financial services they can, and want, to use. The investment has brought us the financial support needed to scale our expansion plans across the GCC, as well as strategic value and partnerships from each of our investors.

“There is no venture capital better placed than Anthemis Exponential Ventures to have led this deal, especially alongside other such high calibre Western and Middle Eastern funds. Two of our key partners, Commercial Bank of Dubai and Visa, have also played a critical role.”

Vica Manos, Partner at Anthemis Group said, “One of the most impactful actions a company can take is to provide fair and sustainable access to finance, and NOW Money does exactly that. By opening up financial services to some of the most deeply left-out individuals, we’re confident that Katharine, Ian, and the rest of the team can achieve genuine impact, changing the face of financial services in a region that right now is showing tremendous promise.”

Katharine Budd, Co-Founder of NOW Money said, “When we started NOW Money in 2016, our mission was clear; simplify the world’s financial services. Initially, we were met with skepticism about a digital financial service, but the success of mobile money in South and East Asia gave us faith that mobile banking would be a sustainable solution for the millions of people who find themselves overlooked by traditional Middle Eastern banking options. We are excited to expand our team and build our customer and partnership base to truly democratise financial services and make money easy, for everyone, every day.”

The cash injection will initially be used to drive NOW Money in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, beginning with strategic new hires and local infrastructure in Riyadh. In addition, the funding will enable NOW Money to develop its service offering and enable it to continue its exponential growth in the UAE.

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