UAE-Based Digital Bank YAP Raises $41M to Expand to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt

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United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based digital bank YAP has raised $41 million in funding and is looking to raise another $20 million for further expansions, Reuters wrote Monday (July 4).

The company reportedly plans to use these funds to grow its business, expanding its footprint into Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan and Ghana, according to CEO and co-founder Marwan Hachem.

Hachem said the company recently received a license to work in Pakistan, Ghana and Saudi Arabia, and the bank is now looking at expanding in general.

“We just got the EMI (electronic money institutions) license in Pakistan and PSP (payment service provider) in Ghana, same thing in Saudi Arabia. Together with the bank we are going to apply to the central bank,” Hachem said.

YAP initially debuted in 2021 and, with a partnership from RAK Bank, has become the UAE’s first independent digital banking platform, per the report.

According to Hachem, the company plans to look into targeting the remittance market for Pakistani workers who are employed in the Gulf, who are known for sending billions home every year. The UAE has become a hub for finance, particularly Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and it is now known as the third-largest economy in the Arab League after Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

This comes as the UAE is shifting from a post-oil economy to tech-focused industries. The government level has been a big factor on this — millions are being pumped into the FinTech innovation as of late, through sovereign wealth funds, or SWFs.

See also: The UAE’s Increasing Role as a Regional FinTech Hub

One of them, ADQ, which is Abu Dhabi’s state holding firm, has rolled out a $100 million tech-focused venture capital fund in order to support high-growth tech funds in Jordan.

This has also seen SWFs investing in the FinTech sector more often, and businesses have been looking into the possibility of a frictionless economy with more digital payment technology.