Ziina, the UAE-based, YC-backed startup on a mission to bring financial freedom to every person in the Middle East, is coming to Jordan. Having launched their digital wallet in February 2022, and their proprietary payment keyboard, the Ziiboard, just this month, the Jordanian expansion is the latest milestone in a rapid succession of innovation for the fintech company.
For co-founders Faisal and Sarah Toukan, Ziina’s first international foray represents a sort of homecoming. Both founders grew up in Amman before continuing their higher studies in the United States. Their decision to move into Jordan before any other Middle Eastern country came out of their desire to uplift and strengthen their home country by expanding access to financial services.
Faisal Toukan, CEO and Co-Founder of Ziina said, “The median age in Jordan is around 23 years old, which makes most of the population digitally native. The Central Bank of Jordan has recognized this, naming microfinance, digital financial services, and small and medium-sized enterprise finance among its core sectoral pillars. As a proud Jordanian, I am delighted to introduce Ziina to my home country. Our team have worked tirelessly to develop a product that makes the payment process infinitely faster and more convenient, while also prioritising a delightful user experience. We have no doubt that Ziina will make getting paid much easier for every single Jordanian.”
Today, Ziina is one of the few MENA companies to make it to the Y-Combinator. The company successfully raised $9 million during a seed round from prominent investors, including Avenir Growth, Goodwater Capital, ANIM, Oman Technology Fund, Class 5 Global, Long Journey Ventures, Graph Ventures, Jabbar Internet Group, Wamda, and FJ Labs, as well as employees and execs at PayPal, Instagram, Stripe, Revolut, Venmo, Brex, Checkout.com, Notion, Block, Airbnb and Deel.
Heralding a new age of digital consumer finance requires a strong team. The Jordanian siblings along with their Californian cofounder Andrew Gold have recruited a world-class team with experience from the likes of Apple, Uber, Coinbase, Careem, Yandex, Funding Circle, Bain & Co, Talabat and Oracle.
A standout feature of Ziina’s product is its design, having been recognised and awarded nine international UI/UX design awards, including the Red Dot Award. The interface allows users to easily send and receive payments to anyone in just a few taps. Ziina eliminates the need for tedious IBAN and swift code entry and makes the payment experience seamless and social, with GIFs, photos, text and emojis.
In a statement, Ziina noted that it believes access shouldn’t be a privilege but a right. The company is focused on developing state-of-the-art tools that are delightful to use, empowering individuals to gain more control of their financial future. Ziina believes this financial prosperity should be in the palm of your hand; it is pioneering the future of personal finance.
Peer-to-peer payment services are on the rise globally as they eliminate the need to make physical cash payments. For Ziina, Jordan represents the next exciting chapter in the company’s mission toward financial freedom in the Middle East.