Ziina, UAE-based P2P payments startup, raises $7.5m in seed funding

Ziina, UAE-based P2P payments startup, raises $7.5m in seed funding 

Founded in 2020, the fintech startup has raised more than $8.6 million in capital.

Ziina, the UAE’s first Peer-to-Peer (P2P) payment application, which is backed by Y-Combinator (YC), announced its latest funding round of $7.5 million. The round which closed in May 2021 will help the company launch its new wallet service and fuel its expansion into Saudi Arabia.

Ziina’s latest seed round is led by Avenir Growth Capital and Class 5 Global with participation from Wamda, FJ Labs, Graph Ventures, Goodwater Capital, Jabbar Internet Group and Oman Technology Fund’s Jasoor Ventures. The round also includes Zinal Growth, the investment fund of Guillaume Pousaz, CEO of Checkout.com; Krishnan Menon, the CEO of Bukukas; as well as executives from Paypal and Venmo. This adds to a roster of fintech operators from Revolut, Stripe, Brex, Notion, and Deel that joined Ziina’s previous round.

Ziina plans on using the proceeds to launch its highly anticipated wallet application with over 20,000 verified users on the waiting list.

Ziina new round gathers US investors, regional investors, and global fintech founders. The firms’ new partners have invested in the most promising global fintechs. Avenir’s latest rounds include US Digital Bank, Current, and Africa’s largest fintech, Flutterwave. Goodwater Capital are key investors in Toss, Korea’s largest digital wallet. FJ Lab’s prior investments include Ant Financial and Graph Ventures investments include Robinhood and Wealthfront. 

Founded in 2020 by Faisal Toukan, Sarah Toukan, and Andrew Gold, Ziina is the latest addition to the Middle East’s fintech ecosystem and is capitalising on the region's rapid adoption of fintech friendly regulation. Ziina offers its users in the UAE simplified P2P payment services, with plans to expand to Saudi Arabia and Jordan by 2022. Its mission is to simplify finance for the Middle East.

In January 2021 Ziina was accepted into Y-Combinator’s (YC) three-month accelerator programme, where the team gained access to a vast network and a range of highly experienced mentors.

Ziina has built a world class team with experience across the top global technology firms including Apple, Uber, Stanford, Coinbase, Careem, Oracle, and Yandex. Ziina intends to use its new funding to recruit stellar hires to fuel its regional expansion.

Faisal Toukan, CEO and Co-Founder of Ziina, comments: “This round will fuel our expansion plans into Saudi Arabia and support the launch of our highly anticipated wallet feature, which we will be introducing along with our new banking partner shortly. We will also use this financing to continue to attract top global talent to further elevate Ziina’s product and bring the application to the center of our users’ daily finances.”  

Faisal adds: “We are in constant conversation with our users to find creative ways to make their payments experience natural and delightful. As a result, the social aspect of payments is has become the focal point of our product. We are building an experience where our customers can benefit from having their families and social circles on the app. In the future, we want Ziina to be the centerpiece of people’s finances, inspiring our users to take control of their money and offering them new possibilities to grow their wealth”

2020 was a year of great growth for Ziina as the team connected with customers in the UAE, offering them an easier way to send and receive cash. In 2021, Ziina will continue to innovate in the UAE’s P2P payment space and embark on its expansion journey to new markets starting with Saudi Arabia. Ziina’s growing team is led by technology and product experts who are devoted to building a financial product that will delight their users, by using the user-centric methodology pioneered in Silicon Valley. 

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