Egyptian fintech startup valU raises $12.4M, valuation touches $247.4M

Egyptian buy now pay later (BNPL) firm valU said Monday that it has secured a $12.4 million capital injection from the Alhokair Family, valuing the lifestyle-enabling fintech platform at $247.4 million as it continues to create strategic regional partnerships.

valU, the fintech arm of investment bank EFG Hermes, said that the transaction marks Alhokair Family’s first investment in a BNPL platform in Egypt and it is subject to relevant regulatory approvals.

The fintech startup, in a statement, said that Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair, Salman Abdulaziz Alhokair and Abdul Majeed Abdulaziz Alhokair participated in the funding round. The deal follows the Egyptian BNPL platform’s expansion into Saudi Arabia through FAS Finance, a joint venture, with FAS Labs in which FAS Labs owns 65% while valU owns 35%.

“We are proud to have grown a strong brand like valU that, since late 2017, has not only established itself as the leading BNPL platform but has also attracted the interest of the world’s largest retailer, Amazon,” Karim Awad, Group CEO of EFG Hermes Holding said in a statement.

Last month, valU signed an agreement with Amazon, by which the e-commerce giant will enable BNPL’s provision of consumer financing as a payment method on Amazon also agreed to acquire $10 million of EFG Hermes global depository receipts (GDRs), with the possibility to replace that investment into valU in the future, equivalent to 4.26% of the issued share capital of valU, based on a current post-money valuation of valU of $235 million.

Founded in 2017, is one of the leading BNPL platforms in the Middle East region and it serves more than 574,000 app clients through over 5,000 points of sale in Egypt. With its entry in Saudi Arabia, valU will be available across Alhokair’s expansive retail network of more than 1,000 stores as well as online on the VogaCloset and monobrand websites.

Research and Markets said that the BNPL Gross Merchandise Value in Africa & Middle East will increase from $3.6 billion in 2021 to $79.4 billion by 2028.

BNPL has re-shaped the fintech, payments and e-commerce space in the Middle East over the past two and half years, and some of the biggest players in the industry include Saudi Arabia’s Tamara and UAE’s Spotii, Tabby and Postpay.