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Quick Connections - w/c 27.03.23

  • Two MENA tech powerhouses, Careem and e& are in advanced investment talks. E&, owner of the Etisalat mobile operator, is discussing an investment into Careem, the Uber-owned ride-hailing company, to help expand their services and build the region's Super App. (Link)

  • Apple has finally rolled out Apple Pay Later in the US, a BNPL service for customers to spread the cost of purchases up to $1,000 made on their devices. Local services Tabby, Tamara, valU, Sympl will hope to built a solid customer base prior to launch in MENA. (Link)

  • A new report from and Euromonitor International revealed that the MENA region’s total e-commerce market size reached $37billion in 2022. It has a double-digit growth rate from 2021 and a 32% CAGR over the 2018 – 2022 period. View the full report here.

  • Zawya reports that the number of companies in Saudi Arabia's fintech sector has nearly doubled and is starting to rival other markets in MENA, including the UAE and Egypt. (Link)

  • Africa’s payment technology company, Flutterwave, is gearing up to expand its services across MENA following the recent approval from the Egyptian authority to let it operate as a Payment Service Provider in the country.

  • BNPL is never out of the news as it continues its rapid adoption across the region, following the success of international services such as Klarna, Affirm and Zip Co. However, the spectre of greater regulation for the sector to prevent a consumer debt bubble always looms. Norton Rose Fulbright published a paper detailing the current regulations for BNPL is each market.

  • Visa and Mastercard currently facilitate more than three-quarters of all credit card transactions in the US, which account for roughly 57% of all transactions (in 2016, it was only 45%). Given their dominance, what would it take to disrupt this duopoly and start a new payments Goliath? Introducing Target's RedCard.

  • Moove, an African mobility FinTech that offers vehicle financing to drivers of ride-hailing companies such as Uber and other gig platforms, raised $30 million from a debut sukuk issuance to build the largest electric vehicle ride-hailing fleet in MENA.

  • U.S. regulators sued Binance, alleging the operator of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange kept an illegal foothold in the American market and violated rules designed to prevent illicit financial activity. (Link)

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) is encouraging all pre-seed and seed stage fintech start-ups operating in Africa to apply to join its FinTech Africa Accelerator programme. An equity-free 10-week programme, designed to provide entrepreneurs with ‘everything from technology, product development, go-to-market strategy, and preparing founders for the nuances and complications of fundraising’.

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