tabby (tabby.ai), the UAE and KSA-based Buy Now, Pay Later provider, has raised a $23M Series A round led by Arbor Ventures and Mubadala Capital, with participation from STV, Raed Ventures, Global Founders Capital, JIMCO, Global Ventures, Venture Souq, Outliers VC, MSA Capital, HOF and AB Accelerator.
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Founded in 2019, tabby partners with retailers to offer their customers online or in-store the ability to defer paying for their purchases for up to 30 days or to pay in 4 equal monthly installments at zero cost to the consumer. Today, tabby’s customers are able to use its service across more than 500 integrated merchants, including leading global brands like IKEA, Toys R Us, and Ace Hardware and regional retail giants including Al Futtaim Group, Landmark Group, and Apparel Group.
tabby integrates directly into merchant checkouts or POS systems, instantly providing consumers a way to pay for their purchases with only 25% of the transaction value paid at the time of purchase and the remainder automatically charged over 3 monthly installments. tabby does not charge its customers any interest or fees as long as they pay on time and monetizes primarily by charging merchants a commission on sales generated via its platform.
Melissa Guzy, Managing Partner at Arbor Ventures commented, “We are very excited to have backed tabby, the leader in Buy Now Pay Later in MENA which is at a tipping point in digital payments. tabby’s network is expanding rapidly, and the company continues to innovate to offer the best in market solutions for merchants and new frictionless payments for consumers.”
Ibrahim Ajami, Head of Ventures at Mubadala said, "Buy Now Pay Later solutions are booming globally thanks to accelerated payments digitization and e-commerce penetration, and the Middle East is no exception. tabby’s solution fits squarely within our thesis that fintech solutions will drive better experiences for merchants and consumers. We are excited to partner with Hosam and his team as they build tabby into a regional fintech leader.”
Hosam Arab, co-Founder and CEO of tabby added, “The shift to online retail has never been more evident, and with it, consumers are becoming ever more demanding as they actively seek convenience and reliability in their shopping experience. And this includes how they pay for their purchases. We’re very proud of the value we’ve been able to bring our retail partners by providing their customers with an exceptionally convenient and flexible way to pay.”
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The newly raised funds will fuel the company’s next stage of growth, helping tabby materially scale its product and engineering capabilities in addition to its lending capacity, further benefiting its merchant partners and consumers. The Series A financing builds on an exceptional year for tabby which saw a rapidly growing roster of large-scale retailers and market momentum driven by evolving consumer demand.
tabby has managed to successfully capitalize on three key COVID-driven trends that have helped fuel its growth:
- the dwindling availability of consumer credit
- the adoption of contactless payments by consumers
- the rapid retail shift online
According to a report by Kearney Middle East, the average share of GCC households that have bought goods online has reached over 8 percent in 2020. Given the range in developed markets sits at 16 to 25 percent, there is significant room for growth. This digital shift is also seen offline, with mobile payments for POS transactions in KSA having grown 495% for the past year until September, according to Saudi Payments. Furthermore, as banks across the region have tightened their credit policies and consumers increasingly seek ways to manage their finances, tabby has seen tremendous market adoption of its Buy Now Pay Later offering.
The company says the integration of its payment service can increase conversion rates by over 20 percent and boost transaction sizes anywhere from 30 to 85 percent, by providing consumers with access to zero-cost, real-time credit. Moreover, tabby says it has also helped online retailers convert a growing share of their customers from paying in cash to paying digitally due to the value proposition of interest-free installments.
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