Amwal, a Saudi fintech that seeks to improve how money is authenticated, gains USD 2.5 million in investments.
Amwal Tech, a Saudi fintech that aims to improve how money is authenticated around the world, has raised USD 2.5 million in a pre-Seed round co-led by Egypt’s Shorooq Partners and Saudi’s Outliers Venture Capital along with angel investors.
Amwal: Cryptographic biometric checkout
Founded in 2022 by Mohamed Zaghoo, and Reda Reda, Amwal aims to improve and secure the way in which money is authenticated. The platform works by abstracting device identity and payment tokenisation in a single API to create a cryptographic biometric checkout solution that will assist in the reduction of fraud. The newly raised funds will enable Amwal to improve its technology and enhance its presence in the MENA region.
According to Amwal, over 50 million online transactions, including e-commerce, bank-to-bank transfers, wallet uses or remittances, take place every day in the MENA region. The company believes that the current means of authentication, from credential-based methods including passwords and SMS-delivered One Time Passwords (OTPs) are frictional and phishable and are costly to service and implement.
Increasing checkout conversion
“It is one of the first implementations of multi-device authentication tokens (FIDO-passkeys) for payments. By removing the friction of account creation, shipping address, payment details, and authentication, Amwal is enabling its network of merchants to increase their checkout conversion by 35%,” said Amwal’s co-founder and CEO Mohamed Zaghoo.
“We are extremely proud to join Amwal’s journey in revolutionizing the authentication and processing infrastructure for payments in the region and beyond. As part of Shorooq Partners’ fintech infrastructure thesis, we strongly share the founders’ belief that the future of online payments is identity-powered, and by building on Amwal’s novel technology, we can establish new rails of secure and seamless flow of funds that will propel trade on a global scale,” concluded Mahmoud Adi, founding partner of Shorooq Partners.
A USD 250 billion market
Amwal claims that the MENA payment market is valued at USD 250 billion and that its services will dramatically improve how users authenticate and authorize payments. The company’s biometric checkout is licensed by the Saudi Central Bank.
E-commerce is one of the fastest growing sectors in terms of startup investment across Africa. The e-commerce, retail-tech and e-health sectors all grew at a faster rate than fintech, the dominant sector on the continent, in 2022.