Cashew, a buy now, pay later (BNPL) firm from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has secured up to $10 million in debt and equity financing from Mashreqbank, a local lender, to help it expand more quickly, Reuters wrote Monday (May 9).
Cashew CEO Ammar Afif said Mashreq’s stake was a minority one, but could increase to 20% if the lender participates in future funding rounds. He added that the funding would help the company grow, allowing Cashew to offer credit on larger purchases including travel, education and healthcare.
Afif said Cashew is looking at getting 5,000 merchants and 500,000 users by the end of the year. He added that transaction volume is likely to surge at least tenfold to $10 million a month by the end of the year. Currently, that number is sitting at $1 million.
The deal comes as the Gulf has a burgeoning scene for BNPL, receiving interest from various funds, including Silicon Valley investors.
BNPL has become popular over the last few years as consumers, constrained by economic woes and inflation, have found value in being able to pay for things in installments.
Mashreq seems to believe the BNPL trend has legs, as it has predicted BNPL transaction volumes in the UAE will be up this year by 60% to 80% compared to last year.
PYMNTS wrote that healthcare will likely see disruptions because of BNPL, which could help out patients and medical practices alike.
Startup Walnut is helping that disruption, having recently secured $110 million in Series A funding. The company said its goal is to provide a necessary service without being an “inflationary force” on how much healthcare costs.
The company works on providing ways for patients to pay in monthly installments for healthcare. Walnut added that the company speeds up the revenue cycle and helps increase collection rates.