Axios Pro Exclusive Content

The rise of Egyptian fintechs

Mar 31, 2022
Illustration of map of Africa covered in push pins

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Khazna, an Egyptian financial superapp, raised $38 million in debt and equity, with Quona Capital leading the equity round.

Why it matters: Funding for Egyptian startups surged 2.4x last year, to $652 million — a sign that investors are seeing opportunities open up inside North Africa's most populous country.

Context: Investors have been hesitant to enter Egypt in the past due to political turmoil and increasing state ownership. But its government has made moves to bolster the private fintech sector.

  • In 2020, it passed a new law allowing fintechs to acquire banking licenses.
  • This all comes as the country is moving toward a cashless economy as part of its Egypt Vision 2030 plan.

Taking a step back: Nigeria is the undisputed leader when it comes to attracting funding from investors in Africa, but Egypt wears silver when it comes to the number of rounds. Some 140 rounds were completed in 2021, according to Partech.

  • Fawry, an Egyptian e-payments company, in January said it was looking to offer shares in the U.S. A listing would make it the first Egyptian company to list stateside.
  • MTN-Halan, also Egypt-based, raised $120 million from Apis Partners last year.

Bottom line: All of Egyptian venture capital raised just $9.2 million some five years ago, Partech data shows. Khazna's round alone supersedes that.

Go deeper