SimpliFi, a Cards as a Service (CaaS) platform for the Middle East and Pakistan (MENAP), launched its card issuance platform this week on August 2nd. Comprised of a rich set of publicly available APIs and an easy-to-use portal, any business, be it a fintech, gig platform, enterprise or SME, can issue cards instantly and manage their programme end to end through SimpliFi.
The company closed its seed round earlier in the year led by Raed Ventures which has also backed Mena heavyweights such as Tabby and Lean. Rally Cap, a global venture collective focusing on early-stage, emerging market fintech opportunities and Sukna Ventures, an early-stage regional VC, also participated along with a number of angels including Chris Adelsbach, Idris Bello, Osama AlRaee, Abdullah Mohammed Al-Dosari and current and former executives at Facebook, Careem, Plaid and Remitly.
SimpliFi provides businesses with a one-stop solution to issue and manage their cards' programmes. The company manages all the ecosystem partners required to issue cards including banks, card schemes, processors, identity verification and card fulfilment to deliver a seamless experience across multiple markets. In addition to providing a purpose-built tech stack, SimpliFi handles day-to-day card operations and compliance functions so businesses can focus on their core strengths while leveraging the capabilities and scale of SimpliFi.
Founded in 2020 by Ali Sattar, previously head of CareemPay, the idea of SimpliFi was seeded when Ali was looking to issue cards but he quickly realised the numerous complexities in setting up such a programme. He found it challenging to launch in one market let alone scaling it across multiple markets given the fragmented payments ecosystem in the region. His frustration was echoed by a number of other entrepreneurs and business owners and it was only then that he realised the enormity of the problem and the massive opportunity that lay ahead. The rest of the team comes with a wealth of experience building and scaling technology businesses for Grab, Gojek, Uber, Careem, PayPal, Marqeta, Facebook and Network International.
“Prepaid cards are highly versatile with a host of use cases allowing businesses to streamline operations, generate new revenue streams and drive loyalty. Until now, banks have had exclusivity in issuing cards. We are changing that by empowering every business to become a payments company and participating in the benefits from financial ownership, without the underlying complexities and hassle. The massive impact this can create on the financial services ecosystem in the region inspires us to wake up every day,” commented Sattar.
“Investing in SimpliFi was an easy decision given the problem it is solving, the vision and experience of the team and the early traction they have had. We see card issuance being a common need and a major pain point for a number of businesses we speak to and are excited to be supporting SimpliFi as they build the payments infrastructure to enable companies in the region to build and scale,” said Wael Nafee, a member of the investment team at Raed Ventures.
Potential customers can now sign up on SimpliFi’s website for a demo account to access SimpliFi’s easy-to-use portal and comprehensive card issuance and management APIs. Whilst SimpliFi’s APIs provide the tools necessary for developers to test out and launch products with minimal coding, the portal is designed specifically for non-technology businesses so finance and operations teams can get access to the same capabilities without any technology or payments background.