YAP, a digital bank in the United Arab Emirates, announced that it had raised $41 million and aimed to raise an additional $20 million to fund its expansion plans.
Aljazira Capital, Abu Dawood Group, Astra Group, and Audacia Capital, all based in Saudi Arabia, were among the investors to date. YAP stated that it plans to finish its Series A before the year’s end.
According to YAP’s CEO and co-founder, Marwan Hachem, the company would use the capital to expand into Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, and Ghana.
“We just got the EMI (electronic money institutions) license in Pakistan and PSP (payment service provider) in Ghana, same thing in Saudi Arabia. Together with the bank we are going to apply to the central bank,” Hachem said.
To become the first independent digital banking platform in the UAE, YAP teamed with Emirati lender RAK Bank and was launched in 2021.
According to YAP Managing Director and co-founder Anas Zaidan, it has collaborated with Bank AlJazira in Saudi Arabia, where it will soft-launch in October before going live fully in the first quarter of next year.
“That’s a very important step for us because we believe Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest markets in the Middle East.”
YAP plans to launch its services in Pakistan and Ghana by the end of the year, where they are currently being researched, and in Egypt, the most populous Arab nation, the following year.
According to CEO Hachem, YAP will focus on providing services to the large remittance market of Pakistani workers employed in the Gulf who send billions of dollars to home each year.
The digital bank reported that over 130,000 individuals have signed up for the YAP app.