NayaPay, a financial platform located in Pakistan, has secured $13 million in one of the region’s biggest seed investments. The financing was headed by Zayn Capital, global fund manager MSA Novo, and Silicon Valley-based early-stage venture capital firm Graph Ventures.
Saison Capital, based in Singapore, Waleed Saigol’s Maple Leaf Capital, and Warren Hogarth, CEO of Empower Finance, also participated in the round, as did the Lakson Group’s sponsors – a Pakistani conglomerate with interests in media, telecommunications, industrials, and financial services, as well as a controlling stake in Colgate-Palmolive Pakistan and McDonald’s Pakistan.
NayaPay is Pakistan’s first fintech, having just obtained the country’s first E-Money Institution license from the national bank, the State Bank of Pakistan. It is on a mission to make financial services more accessible and easy for Pakistan’s millions of consumers. With its two-sided platform for the unbanked, NayaPay aspires to be a leader in Pakistan’s digitalization.
Pakistan represents a large market potential for NayaPay, with over 50 million individuals without a bank account and just 33% of women having one. With 70% of the population under the age of 35, a significant portion of the population is mobile-first.
Each year, about $4 trillion in payments are processed, yet just 1% of them are done online. On the merchant side, the majority of SMBs in Pakistan are unregistered, have historically conducted business largely in cash, and have very limited access to business banking.
The fintech has created a chat-based super app aimed at students and freelancers and is developing a SaaS platform called NayaPay Arc that will give universal payment acceptance and financial management solutions to small and medium-sized businesses.
Danish A. Lakhani, CEO and Founder of NayaPay, said, “NayaPay is empowering young Pakistani people who are embarking on their financial journey, from students entering adulthood to freelancers and entrepreneurs taking an active part in managing their money.” It’s a coming-of-age time for many, and our objective is to continue innovating and building functionality that will become ingrained in their everyday lives for the remainder of their lives.”
“Micro, small, and medium companies account for 90% of the merchant base in Pakistan, yet they are underserved when it comes to access to fundamental financial services,” Danish A. Lakhani said. NayaPay Arc will enable entrepreneurs and small company owners by providing global payment acceptance and a suite of financial management solutions.”
“The tools are designed to provide company owners with insight into their financial flows, enable them to pay suppliers and increase sales. Our objective is to free them up to concentrate on development while we take care of the details. We think that by assisting small enterprises in harnessing the potential of technology, we can alter Pakistan’s economy,” he said.
“We are really positive about fintech in Pakistan,” stated Faisal Aftab, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Zayn Capital Frontier. While Pakistani fintechs are still in their infancy, they have the benefit of learning from peers and making more educated strategic investments.”
“We were struck by the completeness of the founding team at NayaPay’s vision and their distinct platform-based approach — first concentrating on underbanked people and SMBs with particular use cases and then expanding from there. With a demonstrated capacity to execute on the ground, the entrepreneur has built and scaled several companies in Pakistan, including the country’s biggest fiber internet provider (StormFiber),” he noted.
“We are pleased to collaborate with Danish and the NayaPay team as they grow their top digital payments platform for consumers and merchants in Pakistan,” stated Omar Siddiqui, General Partner at Graph Ventures. We’ve invested in over 300 firms in the United States, Southeast Asia, and Latin America over the last decade, and we’re delighted to see the mobile and financial technology trends that have empowered consumers in these areas spread to Pakistan.”
“NayaPay now provides the most complete solution in Pakistan for customers to access next-generation financial conveniences, and we look forward to collaborating with the team as they expand their product offerings and customer base,” he said.
Danish A. Lakhani observed, “Customer trust is critical to the success of any platform. At NayaPay, our aim is to ease the lives of consumers and merchants with our app and NayaPay Arc, while also providing powerful and scalable technology and fanatical customer care. Additionally, we are collaborating with prominent banks to deliver enhanced value and convenience to our common consumers, which will ultimately result in a fully digital banking experience.”