Ziina raises Seed funding and secures backing from Y Combinator

Ziina, the UAE-based Peer-to-Peer (P2P) payment application, has raised Seed funding, led by OTF Jasoor Ventures, with participation from Class 5 Global, Long Journey Ventures, Graph Ventures, Jabbar Internet Group, FJ Labs, and Wamda.  

The funding round coincides with Ziina's acceptance into Y Combinator's Winter 2021 batch, marking the third startup from the UAE to be recognised by the accelerator. 2021 MENA Venture Investment Report

Founded in 2020 by Faisal Toukan, Sarah Toukan, and Andrew Gold, Ziina is the latest addition to the Middle East’s Fintech ecosystem and is capitalising on the region's rapid adoption of Fintech friendly regulation. Ziina offers its users in the UAE simplified P2P payment services, offering them an easier way to send and receive cash, with plans to expand to Saudi Arabia and Jordan by 2022.

The startup's mission is to simplify finance for the Middle East. In the coming year, it plans to expand its product offering to include simplified payments for freelancers and small businesses, grow its team, continue to innovate in the UAE’s P2P payment space, and to begin its expansion to new markets.

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Y Combinator places 2% of applicants who pass their process through its robust accelerator programme which has propelled businesses such as Airbnb, Stripe, and Dropbox to their current level of success worth a combined $200B. Through Y Combinator, Ziina has access to a vast network and a range of highly experienced mentors. The Fintech will now go through the YC three-month accelerator programme culminating in a Demo Day – an opportunity to pitch to many of the world’s most successful investors. 

Faisal Toukan, CEO and Co-Founder of Ziina commented, “The participation with Y Combinator is a game-changer for Ziina and we are thrilled that we have fallen into the very small bracket of companies who are accepted. We’re excited to tap into Y Combinator’s larger network, including its exceptional talent and investor pools. Furthermore, it also allows us to have access to mentors from top technology companies, which will propel Ziina to an even higher level when it comes to scaling our operations. 

“One of our missions at Ziina is linking the best talent and resources of the UAE with those of Silicon Valley. We’ve seen the UAE take a highly proactive approach to support the fintech ecosystem and we are thrilled to be a part of it.

“Coupled with this, we’ve received an enthusiastic response from VCs and angel investors during our latest funding round and are incredibly grateful for their support. This will contribute to supercharging Ziina’s growth in the year ahead, achieving the goals we’ve set. Through Ziina we want to help redefine the way people in the Middle East think of, interact with, and experience financial services. Our company is founded on the belief that everyone should have access to the next generation of financial services.”

Following their Pre-Seed round in May 2020, we caught up with Co-Founder and CEO of Ziina, Faisal Toukan to discover more about the evolving Fintech startup. 

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