FinTech NayaPay Lands $13M Seed to Grow Platform for Pakistan’s Underbanked

Fintech, NayaPay, digital payments, Pakistan, underbanked

In one of the biggest seed funding rounds in South Asia, Fintech NayaPay secured $13 million to grow its two-sided digital banking platform to serve underbanked individuals and small businesses in Pakistan.

The fresh capital will be used to scale its platform, which NayaPay describes as being like Square Cash/Square, WeChat Pay, AliPay and Venmo, according to a press release on Thursday (Feb. 24).

The funding was led by Zayn Capital, MSA Novo and Graph Ventures, with participation from Saison Capital, Maple Leaf Capital, Warren Hogarth, CEO Empower Finance, and the sponsors of the Lakson Group.

“NayaPay is empowering young Pakistani adults starting their financial journey, from students stepping into adulthood to freelancers and entrepreneurs taking an active role in managing their finances. In many senses, it’s a coming-of-age moment for many, and our goal is to continue to innovate and build functionality to become a part of their daily lives, for the rest of their lives,” said NayaPay CEO and founder Danish A. Lakhani.

See also: Pakistan Launches Payment System To Boost Financial Inclusion

Lakhani added that micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses (MSMBs) are underserved in Pakistan when it comes to banking services, yet they comprise 90% of the retail climate in the country.

“NayaPay Arc will provide universal payments acceptance and a range of business financial management tools to empower entrepreneurs and small business owners. The tools are intended to give business owners the visibility of their cash flows, pay suppliers and grow sales. Our goal is to enable them to focus on growth while we take care of the rest. By helping small businesses harness the power of technology, we believe we can transform the Pakistani economy,” Lakhani said.

Read more: NayaPay FinTech Gets License to Operate in Pakistan

The company was granted the first eMoney institution license from the country’s central bank, the State Bank of Pakistan. NayaPay now wants to bring financial services to Pakistan’s more than 50 million underbanked adults. There is a large population of mobile-first citizens, with 70% being under the age of 35, according to the release.

While close to $4 trillion payments are processed in Pakistan each year, just 1% are made digitally, NayaPay said. The majority of MSMBs in Pakistan are unregistered, deal in cash, and have little access to business banking.