Egypt-based fintech Money Fellows has raised $31m in the first closing of its series B equity round.
Money Fellows will use the funding to diversify its portfolio, expand its products across B2C and B2B markets and further across Africa and Asia.
The fintech, founded in 2014, has raised $37m in total funding since its inception.
CommerzVentures, a German venture capital company, as well as Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) and Arzan Venture Capital, which is headquartered in Kuwait, led the funding round. Existing investors Partech, Swari Ventures and P1Ventures also took part.
The fintech’s mobile-based platform digitises money circles, also known as rotating savings and credit associations, where a group of individuals come together and act as an informal financial institution.
Participants each contribute a set and equal amount of money on a regular basis to a pot, which then pays out, also on a regular basis, the total sum to each member in turn. The result is a form of peer-to-peer saving and borrowing popular in Egypt.
Money Fellows takes this practice and widens the pool of potential participants beyond immediate family and friends, while offering security and multiple pay-in and -out options.
Commenting on the series B round, Ahmed Wadi, founder and chief executive officer of Money Fellows, said: “We are proud to share with our stakeholders and our users the progress and growth which led Money Fellows to become one of the market-leading fintech’s in Egypt, facilitating financial inclusion and digital transformation in the country.”
Wadi added: “The support we received from leading local and global venture capital firms in times of instability and scarcity of growth capital rounds is a testament to their faith and confidence in our business model, our team and the overall opportunity that lies in the Egyptian market.”
Speaking about the success of Money Fellows, Hangwi Muambadzi, venture partner at CommerzVentures, said: “Rotating savings and credit associations have been deeply embedded in emerging markets across the world for centuries. It is brilliant to see this new digital ROSCA-driven model emerge from Africa.”
Stuart Gast, chief executive officer of Invenfin, and partner to Money Fellows, added: “Digitising widely used and culturally familiar money circles will be a key driver for achieving greater financial inclusion, not only in Egypt but in other emerging markets too.”
Image: Money Fellows