Sequoia Capital India: $33mn investment in Lean Technologies

Saudi fintech Lean Technologies received the Sequoia Capital India funding injection in a Series A round 

Global venture capital leader, Sequoia Capital India, has thrown its weight behind the Saudi Arabian fintech start up Lean Technologies

The investment, which took place as part of Lean Technologie’s Series A funding round, represents Sequoia Capital India’s first foray into the Gulf region. 

Sequoia Capital India is part of the US-based venture capital giant that is known for backing Google and Stripe. Sequoia Capital India is an independent fund, and its contribution to Lean Technologies was part of several investments offered by a range of international VCs, including General Electric, and Liberty City Ventures. 

Saudi-based fintech Lean Technologies

Based in Riyadh and London, Lean Technologies was founded in 2019 and operates by facilitating third-party finserve providers to make initial payments and access user bank data. The platform has an API solution that enables different systems to communicate and therefore is similar to the latest open banking offerings. 

The funding round follows on from the KSA’s (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) new directives in 2021 to create a legal structure to accommodate open banking and launch new opportunities for fintech companies in the region. 

In 2020, FinTech Saudi revealed the country had winessed a 37% increase in the number of fintech operatives in the Kingdom, alongside more than SAR1.3bn of investments from venture capitalists into Saudi-based fintech companies. 

Rayan Dawud, an investment partner at Outliers Venture Capital, a leading investor in Lean Technologies, confirmed, “Fintech has witnessed astounding growth over the past two years in the MENA Region. Open banking will lower transaction costs and offer access to sophisticated data sets, fueling the next generation of regional fintechs.”

New regulations, including the launch of SARIE, the Instant Payment System, and the Council of Ministers' approval to license two local digital banks, STC Bank and Saudi Digital Bank, have also contributed to the market shift. 

Hisham Al-Falih, Lean Technologies co-founder and CEO, recently said, “We see ourselves ultimately as enablers, supporters of the [fintech] ecosystem and as hopeful bastions of a new wave of fintech innovation that will enable and spur a lot of very exciting changes in the lives of everyday people and businesses.”

New fintech opportunities in the Gulf region

Al-Falih continued, “The technology is not only for retail accounts but also for SME accounts. So you can imagine that this is the plumbing for fintech. And what this will enable is a whole new wave of use cases that previously were untapped, underutilised.”

The move will accelerate startups and new businesses platforms, he added. “If we think about personal financial management, savings, robo-advisory and investing, cryptocurrency investments as well, and a variety of other use cases that previously were either hindered or blocked altogether, and hopefully with the introduction of infrastructure, like Lean Technologies, we’ll see those businesses come to light and come to the market way faster.”

Main image credit: Lean Technologies co-founders


Featured Articles

Defaqto: Helping clients ‘make smarter financial decisions’

We look at the life and career of John Milliken, CEO of Defaqto – a company known for issuing star ratings, but with far more going on under the hood…

WorldFirst: Why now is time for SMEs to seek trade in Asia

In this exclusive interview, we speak to VP of Ant Group and WorldFirst CEO Clara Shi, on why now is the time for UK SMEs to trade in new markets

Mastercard webinar: Shaping the Future of Fintech

Mastercard experts, alongside Zolve CEO and Founder Raghu G, discuss the six major fintech trends today in the company’s latest webinar – available now

Embedded finance: Innovating for good

Financial Services (FinServ)

Live today: FinTech LIVE London

Financial Services (FinServ)

Crypto, blockchain and Web3 speakers at FinTech LIVE London