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Pakistani Fintech Startup Raises Seven-Figure Seed Funding

Pakistani fintech, Safepay, has raised seed funding from global financial technology platform company Stripe, MENAbytes reported on Thursday.

The Karachi-headquartered startup did not disclose the exact size of the financing but has divulged the deal being a seven-figure (USD) amount and has also informed that other local and international investors also participated in the financing round.

These financers also included Berlin-based Global Founders Capital (which invested last month in Bazaar), US-based HOF Capital, Soma Capital, and Mantis Venture Capital, as well as Pakistani VC Fatima Gobi Ventures, reported MENAbytes, adding that this round follows Safepay’s graduation from Y Combinator’s Summer 2020 batch.


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Safepay was founded in 2019 by Ziyad Parekh and Raza Naqvi. The startup aims at building digital payment solutions for Pakistani merchants. The founders launched a beta product in 2019 and were soon able to scale to provide online payment services to over 300 merchants.

The services were taken offline a year later as the company initiated its expansion, which required working within a framework with other financial partners and the central bank of the country, said the co-founders speaking to the platform.

The startup co-founders did not provide a time frame, but they said that  Safepay would launch services as soon as it has appropriate arrangements with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and has measures in place to facilitate payments through the right financial partners.

Parekh said, “We want to work in improving digital payment infrastructure in Pakistan to decrease the reliance on cash and other OTC transactions, regardless if this is in a business-to-customer, business-to-business or government-person context.” He said that their ultimate goal is to increase the size of the online economy in Pakistan.

Stripe has previously made investments in PayMongo in the Philippines and PayStack in Africa and eventually acquired the latter for over $200 million. For Safepay, this can also translate into guidance from their portfolio companies that have developed digital payments products in markets similar to Pakistan.


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Naqvi said, “Backing from Stripe, in particular, will provide us with unique guidance towards becoming a leading technology provider, building world-class products in the context of local payments and commerce.”

Noah Pepper, Stripe’s business lead for the Asia Pacific, said, “The Safepay team’s solutions will be an important contribution to the future of Pakistan’s economy. We love backing founders who really know their markets and have the vision to help local businesses.”

 

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