UAE’s Cards as a Service startup Simplifi raises $5.1M

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UAE-based FinTech and Cards as a Service (CaaS) platform for Mena and Pakistan SimpliFi has successfully raised $5.1M in its latest funding round. Following its beta launch in August of this year, the funding round recorded participation Global Founders Capital, Raed Ventures, 4DX Ventures, and Rally Cap Ventures. Both Raed Ventures and Rally Cap Ventures had participated in SimpliFi’s funding round earlier in the year along with a number of strategic investors from the region and outside as well as current and former employees of Careem, Facebook, Plaid, and Remitly.  

Founded in 2020 by Ali Sattar, previously head of CareemPay, SimpliFi provides businesses with a one-stop solution to issue and manage their cards’ program. The company manages all ecosystem partners required to issue cards including banks, card schemes, processors, identity verification, card fulfillment, and customer care to deliver a seamless experience across multiple markets. In addition to providing a purpose-built tech stack, SimpliFi manages the day-to-day card operations and compliance functions so businesses can focus on their core strengths whilst leveraging the capabilities and scale of SimpliFi.  

The third quarter of the year proved consistent with the stellar year of FinTech across MENA, Turkey, and Pakistan. Observing a 55% Quarter-on-Quarter growth of funds backing FinTech across MENAPT, the industry observed yet another quarterly record as most recently recorded in Q3 2021. Most remarkably, online payment solutions and financial structuring services have been a hot target for VC investors across MENAPT as observed in FinTech Funding Rounds 2021 YTD. Of which, startups like BPL platforms Tabby (UAE) and Colendi (Turkey) raising major rounds this year. In parallel to setting the payment infrastructures that push forward with cashless and flexible payment processes, FinTechs like BitOasis, Sarwa, and most recently Fintech Galaxy, and Tarabut Gateway have raised rounds this year to explore the worlds of Cryptocurrency, Open Banking, and Digital Investment. 


 



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After launching its beta version in August this year, the company received strong interest from organisations across the region seeking to issue cards to fulfil their business needs and to offer card products to SMEs and consumers. The company has inked several strategic partnerships with banks, processors and other providers to enable its CaaS platform and signed up a number of clients, many of which are the largest brands and category leaders in the region. In parallel, SimpliFi has been building the team aggressively with experience from Careem, Grab, Gojek, Uber, PayPal,  Marqeta, Mastercard, Facebook and Network International.  “We were overwhelmed (yet humbled) by the response we got after we launched in  August. It was only then that we realised that the opportunity was substantially bigger than what we had originally anticipated which emboldened us to double down and accelerate our expansion across the region,” commented Ali Sattar, Founder/CEO  of SimpliFi.

SimpliFi provides all the tools necessary for a business - technology or non-technology - to run its cards programme. SimpliFi’s PCI DSS certified platform consists of micro APIs,  SDKs, a web portal and a white-label app that companies can use to build, customise,  launch and manage their card programmes quickly and without any technology or payments background.  “SimpliFi’s vision to transform the payments infrastructure in the region to create sustainable impact and its ethos towards honesty, excellence and continuous improvement are aligned with our mission and values. We are excited to be partnering with Ali and the team as they build something truly unique and impactful,” says Peter  Orth, co-founder and General Partner at 4DX Ventures. 

“We like the card issuance space and have backed similar players (to SimpliFi) in other regions of the world. SimpliFi has a world-class team with a strong regional network and experience, undying passion, and uncompromising values and we are confident that they are on their way to becoming the leading card issuance platform in the region,”  commented Tito Costa, Partner at Global Founders Capital.  

The UAE-based Caas startup plans on utilizing its newly acquired funds to fuel SimpliFi’s expansion plans in the region. Wael Nafee, Partner at Raed Ventures concluded “Raed joined SimpliFi on its journey earlier in the year and we’ve been truly impressed by the speed of execution of the team and their ability to attract top-notch brands as clients. At the same time, we see growing demand for card issuance in the region and are excited to continue to back SimpliFi as it expands its presence across the region.” 


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