Liwwa gains support from international and regional investors as smaller MENA markets see increasing activity.
Liwwa, a Jordanian fintech that owns and operates the Liwwa Investment Platform, a peer-to-peer platform that enables retail investors to finance Liwwa loans and earn returns, has closed a USD 18.5 Pre-Series B round of equity and debt. Liwwa’s successful round highlights the rise of smaller MENA markets.
Liwwa was founded in 2015 by Ahmed Moor and Samer Atiani and has created an online credit marketplace where businesses can borrow capital and investors can earn monthly returns. Liwwa offers a range of financial products to Businesses registered in Jordan that have operated for a least one year and have made commercial deposits of at least 30,000 JOD (USD 42,300) in the last six months.
Liwwa’s international round
The funding round included USD 4.5 million from existing investors, including DASH Ventures, Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank FMO, Edgo, and Bank al Etihad, and the German Development Finance Institution DEG approved an investment of USD 0.79 million. The round also included debt contributions from a network of local banks and international development finance institutions; Bank al Etihad increased its debt financing agreement by USD 5 million, whereas an additional USD 8.5 million debt facility was raised from the Capital Bank of Jordan under the NASIRA agreement, Jordan Kuwait Bank and Triodos Bank extended a USD 1.1 million and a USD 2.2 million finance facility respectively.
Liwwa’s CEO, Dennis Ardis, said of the funding round, “With this funding round, we have yet taken another major step towards accomplishing our goals. We will continue to grow as the market grows by bringing in innovative fintech solutions and cash flow-based lending.”
Smaller markets on the up
The MENA region, though investments have slowed in recent months, saw USD 1.8 billion in investments in H1 2022. The UAE’s Pure Harvest Smart Farms, in the agribusiness sector, recently raised USD 185 million, Saudi Arabia’s Foodics, a foodtech and fintech platform, raised USD 170 million in a Series C round in April.
In smaller markets, Bahrain’s Rain crypto currency exchange raised USD 110 million in January. Other examples include Sudan’s Bloom App raising USD 6.5 million, and Kuwait’s Enabill, and Qatar’s Karty completing USD 1.5M Seed and Pre-Seed rounds respectively. In particular, Jordan’s fintech sector is developing quickly. Jordanian apparel firm Jobedu’s acquisition by US-based Web 3 startup Novajax being perhaps the highlight.