Finja, a Pakistani fintech startup, secured $1.5 million in series A funding on Wednesday. Swedish company Vostok led the round. This is not Vostock’s first investment in the Pakistani startup; the company had invested in Finja through a convertible note last year.
Dubai-based Gray Mackenzie Engineering Services also participated in the round.
This announcement follows a series of exciting news from the company and its partner, Finca Microfinance Bank. In June, the State Bank of Pakistan gave the green signal to the commercial launch of Finja’s mobile wallet SimSim after a successful pilot test which lasted several months. SimSim has been doubling its mobile wallets every month with 80,000 accounts since it went live.
Since its pilot launch, SimSim has clocked more than Rs 1.5 billion in transactions through peer-to-peer payments, QR code-led merchant payments, an e-commerce marketplace, bill payments and mobile top-ups. All transactions through SimSim are completely free, with no transaction fees. This is part of the company’s efforts to accelerate digital payments in Pakistan.
Opening a bank account on SimSim takes less than a minute, with real-time NADRA identify verification and artificial intelligence processes carried out on the user’s mobile phone.
SimSim accounts, which are mobile numbers of account holders, are instantly connected with all other Pakistani banks and ATM machines for real-time money transfers.
“Our dream of digitizing payments in Pakistan without any transaction fees became a reality in a few short months,” said Qasif Shahid, co-Founder and CEO of Finja. “This financing round by notable international and local investors is a strong vote of confidence for our company and the potential of the Pakistani market,” added Monis Rahman, co-founder and chairman of Finja.
David Nangle, a partner at Vostok Emerging Finance said, “We are delighted to participate again in Finja’s Series A and are very pleased with the execution of the team in this largely untapped entry market.”