Disrupting the global financial market and creating easy-to-access opportunities for individuals across MENA, the Egypt-based digital investment platform Thndr got the backing from global giants to open up investment in the region.
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Egypt-based FinTech and digital investment platform Thndr has successfully raised an exceptional $20M in its latest funding round. The Series A round was co-led by Tiger Global, BECO Capital, and Prosus Ventures, in addition to participation from Base Capital, firstminute and existing investors Endure Capital, 4DX Ventures, Raba Partnerships and JIMCO.
Launched in late 2020 by Ahmad Hammouda and Seif Amr, Thndr is filling the gap between the availability of large savings amounts aggregated in MENA and the minimal to no participation in the stock exchange markets by transforming the traditionally outdated, slow, and non-user-friendly process of opening and managing investment accounts in the region. The company is making it easy to invest in stocks, bonds, and funds in the region through its mobile-based and low-commission digital stock brokerage.
The FinTech space across EVMs has observed an exceptional VC funding growth in 2021 as recorded in our State of Startup Funding- 2022 Emerging Venture Markets Free Report, available for download. Recording more than 540% increase in capital investment in the sector over 2021, driven by 5 FinTech Mega Deals across Africa, the FinTech sector has had diverse focuses across different markets. The FinTech scene in MENA has been opening up to all forms of investment be it traditional stocks through platforms like Sarwa and Thndr, or cryptocurrencies through platforms like Rain (closing MENA's first Mega Deal for the year), BitOasis, and CoinMENA. This comes within a wave of investments in startups integrating next-generation technologies to unlock the future of FinTech. Be it through open banking with platforms like FinTech Galaxy and Lean Technologies both working on API integrations for financial institutions, corporate spend management with platforms like Pluto and SimpliFi pioneering the CaaS (Cards-as-a-Service) scene in MENA, to alternative spending and peer-to-peer payment platforms like Tabby and Fawry. As recorded in our Egypt 2022 Venture Investment Report, the FinTech space 67% more deals in 2021 than the year before to raise more than 10% of all investments across the country. It was digital and alternative payment providers like Dopay, Paymob, and Telda that have garnered the largest FinTech investments over the past year to service a large population of un and under-banked communities in the region.
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Compared to the US and Europe, MENA countries are significantly underserved when it comes to investment platforms and current investor penetration is less than 3 percent across the region. However, MENA’s market fundamentals are compelling: The region’s population of 370 million amasses $500 billion in annual savings; 62 percent have smartphones, and half the population is aged between 14-45 years old. Platforms like Thndr are creating investors out of members of the population who previously had limited equity market exposure. In fact, 87% of Thndr’s user base are first-time investors and 40 percent of users come from rural areas.
In light of this platform-boosting investment Ahmad Hammouda, Co-Founder and CEO of Thndr commented, “We are building an investment supermarket for MENA consumers to access relevant investment products. With a focus on financial literacy, we equip investors with the knowledge to make self-directed investment decisions. We pride ourselves in being agents of change in the investment sector and staying true to our mission of democratizing investing for everybody in the region. The support from leading global investors is a significant endorsement of our strategy and the very clear market opportunity in the region. We’re thrilled to announce this new funding to continue pioneering wealthtech in the region.”
The Egyp-based FinTech has designed a digital, multi-language app, educating and empowering investors to make their own investment decisions and take a stake in their own economies. In doing so, the startup is not only empowering individuals to take part in a lucrative global financial market but is reshaping stock investments to become an instant & easy-to-enter market. Alex Cook, Partner at Tiger Global, elaborated, “We're excited to support Ahmad, Seif, and the Thndr team as they make investing more accessible in Egypt and the MENA region. The market is lacking a low cost, easy to use platform for investing and saving, and we believe Thndr will deliver best-in-class customer experience as the platform scales.”
While Sandeep Bakshi, Head of European Investments for Prosus Ventures added, “Compared to other developed regions, the opportunity in MENA for equity brokerage is more complex for an international player to capture given the regional fragmentation, cultural nuances, and regulatory framework. Thndr is in a unique position to execute on this massive opportunity. We believe the company’s mission is part of a transformative era for fintech in the region, enabling a larger and younger population of individuals to access equity capital markets.”
Thndr has grown assets under custody rapidly – 29x during 2021 – and monthly traded values up are by similar levels. Thndr also accounted for 36% of all new registrations in the local Egyptian exchanges during 2021. The new funding will go towards product development and expanding Thndr’s presence across MENA. Yousef Hammad, Managing Partner at BECO Capital concluded, "The Thndr team's vision and mission to empower millions of individuals across the MENA region, starting off with Egypt, to become everyday investors resonated very strongly with us. We have been close to the Thndr team since the very beginning and have seen firsthand the team's ability to continuously execute. After scoping the MENA landscape, it became very clear that Hammouda and the Thndr team are tackling the space in a far superior way to others."
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