Middle East and North Africa-focused FinTech Hubpay on Tuesday (Feb. 8) announced it has closed a $20 million Series A fundraising round and has also launched a cross-border digital wallet with no-cost remittances to drive financial inclusion across the region.
Signal Peak Ventures led Hubpay’s most recent funding round, its first investment in the Arabian Gulf, with participation by Olive Tree Capital and BECO Capital as well as early-stage investors Stormbreaker, Emkan Capital and Aditum.
Hubpay, the first startup licensed in the United Arab Emirates for digital money services, will use the fresh capital to hire more employees and continue its international expansion, particularly in Asia and Africa in 2022. The company has offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Karachi and London.
The company has “multiple products in the pipeline,” the company announcement says.
“The FinTech market across MENAP is at a turning point,” said Founder and CEO Kevin Kilty in Hubpay announcement. “A wave of new digital regulatory regimes has been launched, enabling businesses like Hubpay to offer fully digital solutions to underbanked users.
“Key ecosystem building blocks, such as digital KYC and the ubiquity of smartphones, have created a landscape to drive the largest financial inclusion trends that we’ve seen since Alipay was launched in China,” he said.
Recent PYMNTS research shows that almost 60% of consumers making cross-border remittances in the past year increased such payments under the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. consumers sent about $76 billion annually in remittances to people in other countries in that time, our research shows.
The Digital Currency Shift: The Cross-Border Remittances Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with Stellar Development Foundation, found that almost 1 in 4 respondents (23%) — representing 8 million adults — who made online payments to friends or family in other countries used at least one kind of cryptocurrency.
According to our research, 13% of consumers surveyed say cryptocurrencies were their most-used payment method for online cross-border remittances.