In one of the largest-ever startup investment funding round the Middle East has ever seen, Checkout.com, a payments business, is leading a US $110 million funding round for Saudi payments firm Tamara as demand booms for e-commerce and fintech solutions.
Tamara has announced that the Proceeds of the Series A capital raise, which includes both debt and equity, is to be used to bankroll the Saudi fintech’s aspirations for expansion across the Gulf markets by the end of 2021 and then has its eyes set on the rest of the Middle East market. The company, which is predominantly active in not only Saudi Arabia but also its neighbor the United Arab Emirates, had managed to raise US $6 million in seed funding at the start of this year.
“Due to the pandemic, online retail and digital payments have reached mainstream consumers,” said Abdulmajeed Alsukhan, Tamara’s co-founder and chief executive officer. “So today more than ever there’s need for more inclusive and diverse payment options.”
The firm, which is based in Riyadh, has seen incredible growth since its beginning in 2020. That includes rapid growth month over month in its user base as well as transaction volumes. Tamara is a “buy now, pay later” firm that offers its customers the chance to pay for their online purchases after 30 days or in installments. This model has been wildly popular in the West and is now looking to take hold in the Middle East. The company predicts the global demand for this model to grow 400% and reach US $680 billion in transaction volume by 2025.
Firms like Tamara make their money by collecting charges on merchants who offer their own customers the ability to be flexible with their payments for their online shopping.
United Kingdom’s Checkout.com, which is located in London, has become one of Europe’s most valuable startups after earlier this year it closed a US $450 million financing round that saw Tiger Global Management leading the way. This nearly tripled the firm’s valuation to US $15 billion.
“Our investment in Tamara will help the team realize their vision and expand rapidly, driving greater conversions for retailers and offer more flexibility for consumers,” said Sebastian Reis, executive vice president at Checkout.com.
Parasie, Nicolas. “Checkout.Com Leads $110 Million Round for Saudi Fintech Tamara.” Bloomberg, 22 Apr. 2021, www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-04-22/checkout-com-leads-110-million-round-for-saudi-fintech-tamara.