Female-Founded Neobank Savii closes Pre-SEED
GCC-based Banking for Teens startup Savii raises their Pre-Seed round to launch their product in Bahrain, on the road for financial literacy at the ages of 11-18
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GCC-based, Female-led Neobank and FinTech startup Savii raises a Pre-Seed fund to launch its loyalty program app in Bahrain. Founded in 2020, Savii's product offering has been designed working together with Gen-Z representatives and following months of market research in the MENA region and Bahrain. Savii's first product launch consists of a loyalty app where teens can earn cash by recommending the product to their peers.
It was FinTech that raised the lion’s share of VC investment in Emerging Venture Markets over 2021 as recorded in our Free Startup Funding- 2022 Emerging Venture Markets Free Report report. Following a 54% YoY growth to close a record 282 transactions in 2021, it was 6 Mega Deals in Africa by the likes of micro-crediting solutions provider Halan (Egy), Payment-solutions provider Opay (Nigeria), and digital banking platform TymeBank (SA) that drove the 550% YoY capital deployment in the sector YoY. As most recently recorded in our 2022 MENA Venture Investment Report, the FinTech industry observed more than 180% growth in Funding YoY. This growth was driven by sizable investments in Neobanking, alternative payment, FinTech learning, and financial servicing ventures such as payment-solutions provider Tabby, Bitcoin exchange platforms BitOasis and CoinMENA, investment management platform Sarwa and open banking platform Tarabut Gateway.
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Under the tagline "Designed by Teens, For Teens", Savii brings to the market a neobank with the mission of understanding the gen-z consumer and serving their choices and lifestyle while educating them on the fundamentals of financial literacy and empowering them to become financially independent. Omaima Mosharaf, one of Savii's Youth Advisors in Bahrain, commented: "As Gen-Z, we are by definition "digital-ites" which means we spend a lot of time on the internet and social networks, keeping up with the latest trends and insights. We have learned some finance concepts through digital banking apps that our parents are on, and we've adapted quite quickly to them. However, there are certain challenges in our way of fully understanding and becoming financially independent."
Savii co-founders Jane Harvey and Nichola Collinson recently closed their pre-seed round where regional strategic investors participated and joined Savii's mission to create a financial product for the unbanked and underserved strata of the regional population represented by Gen-Z. Nichola Collinson, Savii's co-founder, added her thoughts about financial literacy for teens in the region: "After talking to hundreds of teens across the region, we quickly realized Savii's focus must be on giving them the financial independence they crave. Today's youth want to take responsibility for their own finances, make their own decisions about how they spend and save and, as a by-product, learn through practice not theory." Nichola further added, "Gen Z have higher expectations from the products they use than any other generation in history. However, they are yet to be given an app designed specifically with them in mind. Our Youth Advisory Board allows us to approach money management through their eyes, developing Savii as a product to enable their day-to-day lives and offering them the functionality and features they want - not the ones adults traditionally think they need."
The Savii app's next update will include a prepaid debit card and digital wallet for teenagers that allows them to spend their money online and in-store which will now be supported by the FinTech’s newly acquired investment. Savii Neobank put GenZ at the center of their product development strategy with the support of their recently appointed Youth Advisory Board, which brings the voice of the youth generation to the forefront of everything they do. Commenting on the investing closing round, Jane Harvey concluded, "I am humbled and excited to have closed our pre-seed round. We have welcomed an exceptional group of angel investors from Bahrain and the UAE to the Savii family. We recognize that raising angel money is a privilege and not a right – and so we are grateful they have put their trust in both Nichola and I to build a next-generation banking experience for the youth in MENA."
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