CAIRO: The UAE’s leading fintech startup Tabby raised $58 million in a series C funding round from international investors valuing the company at $660 million.
Established in 2019, Tabby provides users with buy now, pay later options to facilitate a financially friendly shopping experience online and offline.
In an exclusive interview with Arab News, Hosam Arab, CEO and founder of Tabby, said that the company will utilize its funding to grow its product offering and expand current products into new markets.
“We’re looking to expand our Tabby Card offering to other operating markets outside of the UAE. We’re also building toward consumer financial products to help people do more with their money,” he said.
The Tabby virtual card is a Visa card that allows shoppers to split their purchases into four payments at select in-store locations.
Tabby managed to issue over 150,000 cards in six months with in-stores currently contributing 10 percent of total sales.
The company’s virtual card will apparently be launched soon in Saudi Arabia as 85 percent of its sales volume is happening in the Kingdom.
In September 2022, Abdulaziz Saja, general manager of Tabby Saudi Arabia, told Arab News that the company was planning to launch the virtual card in the Kingdom after witnessing the product’s success in the UAE.
“Tabby will continue to lead the generational shift towards fair and transparent financial products in the Middle East and North Africa region with every new product matching customer needs,” Arab stated.
The company works with over 10,000 brands including nine out of the 10 largest retail groups in the MENA region. It recently launched its services with noon, one of the region’s largest e-commerce marketplaces.
The funding round saw participation from Sequoia Capital India, STV, Mubadala Investment Capital, Arbor Ventures, Endeavor Catalyst, and PayPal Ventures as its first investment in the Gulf Cooperation Council region.
• Tabby virtual card is a Visa card that allows shoppers to split their purchases into four payments at select in-store locations.
• Tabby managed to issue over 150,000 cards in six months with in-stores currently contributing 10 percent of total sales.
“We’re excited to grow with an incredible set of investors who believe in the opportunity to create a healthier relationship with money for consumers in a region that’s ripe for change,” Arab stated.
The company operates in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and recently expanded to Egypt with plans to expand further and cover the rest of the GCC region.
Last year, Tabby managed to attract more than 3 million active shoppers on its platform and grew its revenue by five times over the previous year.
One Moto secures $150m to fuel UK expansion
The UAE’s electric mobility startup and last-mile delivery service provider One Moto secured $150 million from an undisclosed investor in the UK to scale operations into the country.
Founded in 2019, the company aims to become a one-stop platform for electric vehicles aimed at last-mile deliveries with presence in China, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia and Nepal.
“With the support of the finance deal, we expect to deploy up to 30,000 vehicles across the UK in H1 2023. This harnesses our conversations with UK Trade & Investment to open the first European assembly plant,” Adam Ridgawy, CEO of One Moto, said in a statement.
The company will utilize its funding round to expand to the UK to help tackle the decarbonization challenges from last-mile delivery.
Alaan raises $4.5m for regional expansion
The UAE-based B2B fintech startup Alaan secured $4.5 million in a pre-series A funding round by Presight Capital and Y Combinator to fuel regional expansion.
Founded in 2020, the company offers a platform for businesses to issue physical and virtual cards to manage business expenses, transactions, subscriptions, vendor payments, government services and in-store purchases.
The company plans to utilize its funding to grow its presence in the UAE and expand into new GCC markets in addition to enhancing its product offering.
“With the new funds, we are excited to further enhance our offering and expand our reach in new markets as we continue to help businesses improve their efficiency, productivity and employee experience through Alaan,” said Parthi Duraisamy, CEO and co-founder of Alaan.
The company, which currently has over 100 businesses in the UAE benefiting more than 5,000 employees, averaged a monthly growth of 500 percent in 2022.
Metaverse startup Numi secures $20m in funding
The UAE metaverse startup Numi raised $20 million in funding from Venom Ventures Fund, a $1 billion venture capital fund targeting blockchain and Web3 projects.
Founded in 2021, Numi aims to build a global entertainment ecosystem of virtual reality users, influencers and creators.
The company plans to release a minigame experience with a variety of special rewards named Visual Novel in 2023. Venom became the first blockchain to fall under the jurisdiction of a regulatory body after it obtained a formal license to issue utility tokens from the Abu Dhabi Global Market.
Flyby closes a $1m seed round
Emirati last-mile startup Flyby raised $1 million in a seed funding round led by Silicon Valley’s FHS Capital and London’s VN2 Capital.
Founded in 2022, the company provides clients with smart delivery boxes infused with tracking and road safety technology in addition to digital ad spaces.
The company will utilize its funding to deploy a fleet of Flyby smart boxes in Dubai along with scaling and developing its technological aspect.
Flyby’s smart delivery box contains a series of embedded sensors, with live telemetry data including GPS position, speed, acceleration and tilt allowing the measuring and monitoring of driver behavior.
EV charging companies partner to fuel industry
The UAE-based electric vehicle charging company Regeny partnered with its California counterpart EvGateway to deliver EV charging solutions for a rising industry.
The partnership is set to deploy 10,000 EV charging stations throughout the UAE by 2030 ranging from alternate current and direct current fast-charging hardware to charging management technology.
The UAE is expected to have around 42,000 EVs on the road by 2030 and is among the top 10 countries that are geared towards electric mobility with 44 percent of the residents willing to shift to EVs, according to the press release.
CAIRO: Egypt has signed a $1.5 billion financing agreement with the International Islamic Trade Finance Corp. to fund its trading, including imports of energy products and essential commodities, CNBC Arabia wrote on Twitter, citing the head of the corporation.
Last year Egypt signed a similar agreement also worth $1.5 billion with the ITFC, which is headquartered in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and often funds Egypt’s commodities imports, including grains and petroleum.
Egypt’s Planning Minister Hala al-Saeed said at a signing ceremony in Cairo that the financing cooperation portfolio between Egypt and the corporation totals $14.5 billion so far, according to a statement by the Planning Ministry posted on its account on Facebook.
She added that the latest signing comes within the framework agreement concluded between Egypt and the ITFC in 2018 that was renewed last year for an additional five years, with an amendment to the credit limit of the agreement from $3 to $6 billion.
Egypt recently agreed to a $3 billion International Monetary Fund support package as it faces a currency crunch exacerbated by Russia’s war in Ukraine, pushing up its bills for wheat and oil while dealing a blow to its tourist numbers from both nations. Tourism is a key source of hard currency for Egypt.
IMF earlier this month said Egypt is facing overall an estimated financing gap of $17 billion that will need to be closed with official financing, including from the Fund. It said that Egypt will need to mobilize funds from its global partners to close this financing gap in the coming years.
The World Bank and other multilateral institutions have continued to be strong supporters of Egypt’s reform program. In addition, the Gulf Cooperation Council countries have assured to roll over deposits at the Central Bank of Egypt through the end of the IMF-promoted program.
IMF said its proposed Extended Fund Facility arrangement with its underlying economic program is intended to help Egypt alleviate immediate economic challenges, strengthen policy frameworks and deepen structural reforms. As a result, growth is expected to recover gradually and inflation, anchored by data-dependent monetary policy, is expected to converge to around 7 percent, IMF said in a report.
A return to a sustained primary surplus of above 2 percent of gross domestic product over the medium term would reduce general government debt to around 78 percent of GDP by 2027, it added.
RIYADH: Oil prices drifted lower in early trade on Monday, thinned by the Lunar New Year holiday in east Asia, but held on to most of last week’s gains on the prospect of an economic recovery in top oil importer China this year.
Brent crude futures were down by 25 cents, or 0.29 percent, to $87.38 at 08.20 a.m. Saudi time, while US West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 21 cents, or down 0.26 percent, to $81.43 a barrel.
Last week Brent rose 2.8 percent, while the US benchmark logged a 1.8 percent gain.
Pakistan could start importing Russian oil after March
Russia could start exporting oil to energy-starved Pakistan after March if terms are agreed, and is discussing with Islamabad whether the payment could be made in the currencies of “friendly” countries, Russia’s energy minister said.
Pakistan has been battling a balance of payment crisis with foreign exchange reserves falling to $4.6 billion, barely enough to cover three weeks of imports — mostly for oil.
It said in October it was considering buying discounted Russian crude, citing neighboring India, which has been purchasing from Moscow.
Pakistani officials and Russian Energy Minister Nikolay Shulginov, who is in Islamabad for an annual inter-governmental commission on trade and economy, said the key elements of the deal had yet to be agreed upon.
“As for the supply of crude oil and petroleum products, we conceptually agreed on the development and signing of an agreement that will determine and resolve all issues of logistics, insurance, payment, volumes,” Shulginov told reporters in Russian, according to the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.
Shulginov also said “negotiations are going on” about settlement in the currencies of “friendly” countries, meaning non-Western countries that have not imposed economic sanctions on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine. Oil is generally paid for in dollars.
Shulginov said the two sides had “established a timeline of this agreement in our joint statement — which is late March,” according to RIA.
Pakistan junior oil minister Musadik Malik told local Geo News TV separately that Islamabad wanted to import 35 percent of its total crude oil requirement.
G7 agrees to review level of price cap on Russian oil in March
Group of Seven officials have agreed to review the level of the price cap on exports of Russian oil in March, later than originally planned in order to give time to assess the market after more caps are placed on oil products from Russia, the US Treasury said on Friday.
The G7 economies, the EU and Australia agreed on Dec. 5 to ban the use of Western-supplied maritime insurance, finance and brokering for sea-borne Russian oil priced above $60 per barrel as part of Western sanctions on Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.
The coalition plans on Feb. 5 to set two caps on Russian oil products, one on products that trade at a premium to crude, such as diesel or gas oil, and one for products that trade at a discount to crude, such as fuel oil.
“The Deputies agreed that this approach will better calibrate the price cap policy for refined products, given the wide range of market prices at which these products trade,” Treasury said after US Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo met virtually with coalition officials on Friday.
The coalition had initially planned to review the level of the cap sometime in February, two months after its implementation.
Treasury officials have said the oil price cap has two goals: cutting Russia’s revenues by institutionalizing heavy discounts on its oil bought by big consumers like China and India, and ensuring global oil markets are well supplied.
“As long as the price cap continues to meet the Coalition’s dual goals, the Deputies agreed to undertake a review of the level of the crude price cap in March,” Treasury said.
The March date allows the coalition to assess developments in global markets after the implementation of the refined products caps, and to be briefed on an EU technical review of the crude price cap, it said.
(With input from Reuters)
PARIS: The European luxury sector is welcoming the end of pandemic lockdowns in China, as the return of big-spending Chinese tourists could sustain further growth.
Prior to the pandemic, Chinese tourists visiting Europe were a major source of sales for luxury houses.
The Chinese accounted for “a third of luxury purchases in the world and two-thirds of those purchases were made outside China,” said Joelle de Montgolfier, head of the luxury division at management consulting firm Bain and Company.
Their return has led RBC bank to revise up its growth forecast for the sector this year to 11 percent, from 7 percent previously.
“China reopening is one of the key ‘mega-themes’ for the luxury sector in 2023,” RBC Bank said in a recent note to clients.
After a drop in 2020, the luxury sector managed to surpass its pre-pandemic sales in 2021.
“The Chinese consumed, but only in China,” said Bain’s de Montgolfier.
“In 2022, it was much more complicated with unexpected confinements in the country,” she added.
Nevertheless, that did not hold the sector back from making an estimated 22 percent jump to €353 billion ($384 billion), according to a November forecast by Bain and Company.
That growth was supported by the wave of post-lockdown US tourists visiting Europe armed with a strong dollar, as well as Korean and Southeast Asian tourists.
Another pleasant surprise was Europeans “who had been ignored for decades … and were more interested in luxury goods than expected,” said Erwan Rambourg, a luxury industry insider turned analyst and author of the book “Future Luxe: What’s Ahead for the Business of Luxury.”
With the lifting of travel restrictions in China “there will be a considerable return of Chinese tourists but that will be more likely in the second quarter,” said Arnaud Cadart, a portfolio manager at asset manager Flornoy.
“The pandemic is still very active in China and it will affect lots of people.”
The Chinese tourists may be needed if the flow of US tourists slows.
“European boutiques need this rebound in Chinese clientele to replace its American clientele which could buy locally,” said Cadart.
ABU DHABI: Aldar Properties and Diamond Developers have announced that the first phase of The Sustainable City – Yas Island has sold out less than 24 hours since its public launch, Emirates News Agency reported on Sunday.
Sales during the first phase of the project exceeded over 1 billion dirhams ($272 million).
A total of 512 homes were available with 76 percent of the units purchased by expatriates, and 24 percent being overseas investors.
“From formulating its Green Agenda to declaring 2023 as the Year of Sustainability, the UAE continues to prioritize sustainable development. The success we have seen with The Sustainable City — Yas Island is an endorsement of the government’s forward-thinking policies, and is a clear indication that buyers are looking for more sustainable ways of living,” Aldar Development CEO Jonathan Emery said.
The Sustainable City — Yas Island sales launch was Aldar’s first fully paperless sales event, with customers completing their transactions digitally, using electronic signatures.
The project’s construction will begin in the second quarter of 2023, with the first handovers expected in the fourth quarter of 2025.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index on Sunday gained 42.61 points — or 0.40 percent — to close at 10,724.62.
While MSCI Tadawul 30 Index edged up 4.61 points to close at 1,486.51, the parallel market Nomu slumped 243.64 points to 19,213.17.
TASI’s total trading turnover of the benchmark index on Sunday was recorded at SR3.09 billion ($820 million), with 140 stocks of the listed 223 advancing and 64 falling.
Hail Cement Co. was the topmost gainer of the day, which rose 6.51 percent to SR12.10. The other top gainers were Saudi Advanced Industries Co., Middle East Healthcare Co., Al Hammadi Holding and East Pipes Integrated Co. for Industry.
The worst performer on Sunday was Dur Hospitality Co., which fell 2.69 percent to SR22.40. Other top decliners were Arabian Cement Co., Qassim Cement Co., Dallah Healthcare Co. and Almarai Co.
Incidentally, Almarai Co. declared its financial results and registered a 13 percent rise in its net profit after zakat and tax for 2022 to SR1.75 billion from SR1.56 billion in 2021. Its revenues during 2022 increased 18 percent to SR18.7 million from SR15.8. The dairy major’s share, however, fell 1.61 percent to SR55.10.
Among sectoral indices, 16 of the 21 listed on the stock exchange advanced while the rest declined. The Diversified Financial Index was the top performer as it rose 1.87 percent to 6,268.38. All constituent stocks, including Saudi Advanced Industries Co, Kingdom Holding Co., Saudi Tadawul Group Holding Co., Sinad Holding Co.and Nayifat Finance Co., ended positively.
Food and Beverages Index and Utilities Index dropped 0.62 percent to close at 4,904.33 and 7,456.54, respectively. While the worst-performing stock in the food and beverages sector was Almarai, the utility sector buckled under the weight of Saudi Electric Co, which fell 1.20 percent to close at SR23.06.
On the announcements front, Al Masane Al Kobra Mining Co. informed the stock exchange on Sunday that the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources issued on Jan. 18 issued it a new exploration license to prospect for gold.
The license is valid until Nov. 24, 2027, and covers an area of 34 square kilometers in the Asir region, according to a statement to Tadawul. The license is also in line with the new Mining Investment Law and its executive regulations. AMAK’s share price rose 0.9 percent to SR78.1.
Aldrees Petroleum and Transport Services Co. told Tadawul that its board of directors recommended on Jan. 22 a 20 percent cash dividend, or SR2 per share, for 2022, doling out a total dividend of SR150 million.
Aldrees’ share price picked up 0.13 percent to SR79.6.
ACWA Power Co. also communicated to the stock exchange that Jazan Integrated Gasification and Power Co. completed the acquisition of the second group of assets for the Jazan Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle project.
The utility major said the project involves the acquisition of the $12 billion IGCC plant from Saudi Arabian Oil Co. The first group of IGCC assets was acquired on Oct. 27, 2021. ACWA Power’s share price fell 0.49 percent to SR161.
National Medical Care Co. also inked a share purchase agreement with SmartMed Co. to purchase 100 percent of Jiwar Medical Services Co. for SR65 million.
The acquisition deal will be financed through the healthcare provider’s internal sources and credit facilities, according to a statement to Tadawul. The company’s share price surged 1.54 percent to SR79.20.