Apr 23, 2021

Checkout.com leads MENA’s largest round for fintech Tamara

Tamara
Checkout.com
Fintech
BNPL
William Girling
2 min
Checkout.com, one of EMEA’s most valuable fintechs, has led the MENA region’s largest funding round yet on behalf of Saudi BNPL platform Tamara
Checkout.com, one of EMEA’s most valuable fintechs, has led the MENA region’s largest funding round yet on behalf of Saudi BNPL platform Tamara...

The Series A round closed at US$110m, a significant sum for a company founded in September 2020. The funds will primarily be used to expedite its expansion throughout the GCC.

With Visa estimating that MENA’s e-commerce sector will be worth $49bn by 2022, Tamara’s ascension appears to position it at the forefront of the region’s burgeoning fintech sector. News of its Series A success has quickly followed its $6m seed funding round in January 2021, itself the largest of its kind in Saudi Arabia. 

The ‘by now pay later’ (BNPL) fintech allows customers to split transaction costs into three payments over the course of two months, or pay over a 30-day period. 

Either option comes on a “no hidden fee” and “no interest rate” basis. The app is currently available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play.

The rise of BNPL

According to Abdulmajeed Alsukhan, Co-Founder and CEO, Tamara and by extension BNPL generally are fulfilling a core consumer need:

“The region and the world need payment solutions that are transparent and customer-oriented. At Tamara, we offer our customers an alternative to credit cards and Cash on Delivery (COD), which enhances their shopping experience. Our solution also increases our merchant partners’ efficiency as well as their customer satisfaction. 

“This transaction is only the beginning of our journey, and a great sign that we are on the right track. We are proud to have the trust of such an investor and we will continue expanding our products to transform the payments industry in the region.”

Checkout.com is keenly aware of the need for payments solutions that embrace the opportunities of the digital era. Helping customers unlock revenue through its unified platform, it has reached a value of more than $15bn and has plans to expand further into the US market via New York and Denver (it has one office in San Francisco).

Sebastian Reis, Executive VP at Checkout.com, explained that his company’s investment will enable Tamara to follow a similar trajectory. 

“Tamara has rapidly proven itself to be a natural leader in the BNPL space. Our investment in Tamara will help the team realise their vision and expand rapidly, driving greater conversions for retailers and offer more flexibility for consumers.”

Image source: Tamara

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Jun 24, 2021

NFT Marketplace Rarible Raises US$14.2m

Fintech
NFT
Rarible
funding
2 min
NFT marketplace Rarible has raised fresh capital to create user-friendly developments and launch an additional marketplace on the Flow blockchain

Non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace Rarible has announced that they’ve closed a US$14.2m Series A from Venrock Capital, CoinFund and 01 Advisors

Alongside the funding announcement, Rarible has shared that they’ve officially partnered with NBA Top Shot maker Dapper Labs to bring their NFT marketplace to Dapper’s Flow blockchain. Dapper Labs has begun building out a wider coalition of NFT platforms on its proprietary blockchain which is more energy-efficient and less costly than transactions on the Ethereum network. 

To mark this next phase, we are also proud to enter an official partnership with Flow. Dapper Labs has an impressive track record of bringing NFTs mainstream by creating native experiences for non-crypto audiences. As a blockchain, Flow enables easier access and lowers the entry barrier for traditional consumers and brands, which makes it a perfect partner on our journey to the wider adoption.

“In the coming couple of months, we will be bringing Rarible on Flow as a primary and secondary marketplace, also welcoming the robust ecosystem of projects built on Flow blockchain,” Rarible said. 

According to the company, last June, 6 months post-launch, total trading volume on Rarible hit the $28,000 mark. By June 2021 it grew by a mind-blowing 3000x, reaching $150 million in total sales. 

“Just as we have always been at the forefront of the NFT movement, Rarible is determined to pioneer the next wave,” the co-founder of Rarible’s marketplace and CEO Alexei Falin said. “With this company milestone, we are thankful for the support of Venrock, 01 Advisors, and Coinfund and look forward to going beyond the current enclosed crypto environment and taking NFTs into mainstream consciousness.”

User-friendly developments 

In a blog post the company says they hope to use this funding to explore more user-friendly developments like accepting credit card payments. “We need a world where an indie creator can effortlessly create an NFT and sell it for $5 to his community of supporters, as well as where a pop icon can use NFTs to establish close contact with her multi-million audience in a sustainable way.”

Rarible has a lot underway in the upcoming few months, including the launch of Rarible NFT protocol, L2 solution for scalability and sustainability, credit card payments, adoption of Flow blockchain, multiple partnerships and drops, and more. Many projects are already working on integrations with Rarible protocol, such as the partnership with one-click NFT creator S!NG that allows users to mint and put their NFTs on sale with no costs involved.

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