Egyptian startup Blnk raises $32 million in funding round

By Mahmoud Salama

CAIRO (Reuters) - Blnk, a fintech platform that enables instant consumer credit in Egypt, has closed one of the country's biggest funding rounds for a startup this year, raising $32 million, its chief executive said.

The company, launched in October 2021, raised $23.7 million in equity and debt funding and $8.3 million in securitised bond issuance, co-founder and CEO Amr Sultan told Reuters.

The funds will be used to accelerate financial inclusion within underserved communities across the country, to support further development of Blnk’s Artificial Intelligence-powered lending infrastructure, and to finance the company’s fast-growing portfolio of customers, he added.

The combined pre-seed and seed funding rounds of $12.5 million were led by Abu Dhabi’s Emirates International Investment Company (EIIC) and Egypt-based venture capital firm Sawari Ventures, with participation from several prominent local and international angel investors.

The $11.2 million debt funding was secured from a number of leading local banks. The $8.3 million securitised bond issuance was underwritten by National Bank of Egypt and Banque du Caire.

Blnk has developed a digital lending platform that empowers merchants of all sizes to instantly underwrite and finance their customers' purchases at the point of sale and enables consumers access to financing to purchase a range of products and services, including electronics, furniture and automotive services, paying over instalments ranging from six to 36 months.

The company says it has disbursed more than $20 million in loans to date.

(Reporting by Mahmoud Salama; Editing by Mark Potter)