Egyptian fintech startup, Blnk raises $32m in debt and equity funding

Blnk, an Egyptian fintech providing instant consumer credit, has announced that it has raised $32M in debt and equity funding to “accelerate financial inclusion within underserved communities across the country” and support its “AI-powered” lending infrastructure. 

The fintech revealed that the $32 million raise is divided among various funding types and stages, including $12.5 million in pre-seed and seed equity rounds led by Sawari Ventures and other investors in Abu Dhabi, as well as $11.2 million in debt financing and $8.3 million in securitized bond issuance.

Speaking on the investment, Joseph Iskander, Head of Investment at lead investor EIIC, expressed their commitment to partnering with Blnk to drive financial inclusion in the country, and other value-creating businesses to grow the Egyptian market.

He said:

“We are convinced that the Egyptian market and its startup ecosystem present a compelling opportunity for regional and international investors, and we are committed to identifying and investing in value accretive businesses. We are pleased to partner with Blnk to drive financial inclusion and economic development in Egypt, and we look forward to working with the team to achieve their goals.”

So far, Blnk claims to have disbursed over $20 million in loans via a network of more than 300 merchants (half of which are active) to over 60,000 customers who pay an average of 2.6% monthly interest. About Blnk
Blnk claims that less than 4% of Egyptians have access to credit cards and can only afford to purchase products/services with cash that they have saved or are forced to borrow from hard money lenders at high-interest rates.In addition, just slightly more than 4 million credit cards are used in Egypt, a country with a population of more than 100 million. Because there are so few other options available on the market, citizens in the country have little to no access to credit.
It is on this basis that Blnk, a fintech business launched last October, developed its aim to enable inclusion through point-of-sale financing. All of the consumers of the company’s services can now instantaneously obtain credit from their preferred merchants within minutes.
According to the company, customers who use Blnk at the point of sale need a National ID for starters, after which they can get financing in three minutes, “It’s a very fast service,” said Amr Sultan, co-founder and CEO, in an interview with TechCrunch.
“And by being there at the point of sale, we help increase conversion rates and provide affordability products to significantly underserved populations. We’re heavily focused on financial inclusion, especially on how to underwrite people who don’t have a credit history.”
Consumer loans are one of the various options being investigated by Blnk. The digital lending platform collaborates with Egyptian retailers to enable them to screen customers at the point of sale and offer them financing for purchases of goods including electronics, furniture, and automotive services over a period of six to thirty-six months.
Sultan, who started the company with Tarek Elsheikh, said Blnk does this via its proprietary credit underwriting system and risk-scoring model that assesses the customers’ riskiness and ability to service their debts.
Other fintech companies that offer loans and other financial services in Egypt include MNT-Halan, MoneyFellows and Khazna.