More than 70% of Egypt's young and fast-growing population of over 100 million is financially underserved, despite mobile penetration exceeding 90%.
Traditional banks often overlook this segment because of their spending power or financial status, and fintechs have seized the opportunity to cater to their needs.
One such fintech is MNT-Halan, and today, the company, which describes itself as "Egypt's leading fintech ecosystem," is announcing that it has closed a $120 million investment.
The investors backing MNT-Halan include private equity firms Apis Growth Fund II, Development Partners International (DPI) and Lorax Capital Partners, as well as VCs like Middle East Venture Partners, Endeavor Catalyst and DisruptTech.
They join previous local investors like GB Capital, DPI, Algebra Ventures, Wamda, Egypt Ventures, Shaka VC, Nowaisi Capital, Unidelta and Battery Road Digital Holdings that have backed the company in the past.
In 2017, Mounir Nakhla and Ahmed Mohsen started Halan as a ride-hailing and delivery app offering two and three-wheeler services to customers in Egypt. Since then, it has provided other features, including wallets, bill payment services, e-commerce with buy now, pay later (BNPL) and micro and consumer loans, all in a bid to become a super app.
Then in June of this year, Netherlands-based MNT Investments BV entered a share swap agreement with the Egyptian super app to accelerate the progress of its payments and lending arm, especially in BNPL across Egypt and the MENA region.
Before the merger, MNT acquired the shares of Raseedy, the first independent and interoperable digital wallet in Egypt licensed by its Central Bank to disburse, collect and transfer money digitally through mobile applications.
As MNT-Halan, it has also obtained the micro, consumer and nano finance licenses to provide services to both businesses and consumers across Egypt.
This has enabled the company to build a fintech ecosystem that connects consumers, merchants and micro-enterprises via a digital platform and payment solutions.
As a business and consumer lender, MNT-Halan offers BNPL services, nano loans, microfinance, SME lending, payroll lending and light-vehicle finance.
Its digital payments ecosystem provides services around loan disbursement and collection, peer-to-peer transfers, payroll disbursement, remittances and bill payments.
Then in mobility, MNT-Halan provides courier, delivery and ride-hailing services.
MNT-Halan claims to be Egypt's largest and fastest-growing lender to the unbanked. Serving over 4 million customers in Egypt, of which 1 million are monthly active users, MNT-Halan has disbursed over $1.7 billion worth of loans to 1.8 million borrowers since inception. The company also claims to process $100 million monthly, growing 20x over the past five years.
The investment, a mixture of private equity and venture capital money, will help the company improve its technology and product while scaling to customers within and outside Egypt.
“We are at the forefront of the digital revolution sweeping across Egypt, bringing together the unbanked population with our technology. We are on track to bring financial inclusion to tens of millions of Egyptians. As a result, we will unleash this segment’s earnings potential and drive greater participation in the economy,” said CEO Nakhla.
One of its investors, Apis Growth Fund II, is a London-based private equity fund. It makes quasi-equity investments in the financial sector and related market infrastructure -- payment gateways, switches and payment platforms -- in Africa and Asia.
MNT-Halan is its first landmark investment in Egypt but second on the continent after taking part in TymeBank's $109 million investment in February this year.
Apis Partners co-founders and managing partners Matteo Stefanel and Udayan Goyal said this in a statement, “We are thrilled to be investing in MNT-Halan, which is our first investment in Egypt. Our belief is that they will be the leading player digitizing the unbanked and bringing financial services to millions of underserved customers in the country.
"We look forward to partnering with them to extend their impressive growth trajectory and believe Mounir Nakhla’s track record, combined with MNT-Halan’s tech team and operational expertise, provide the ideal opportunity to invest in Egypt’s fintech sector.”
Prior to this news, Halan as an independent entity had raised $26.4 million, according to Crunchbase. This investment takes it to a combined total of $146.4 million, of which the latest is one of the largest raised in Africa this year and continues to prove the dominance of fintech on the continent.