MENA: Fintech companies in the Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan (MENAP) region are on the cusp of a major funding requirement, as projected by global consultancy McKinsey.
Currently, the region has approximately 800 funded start-ups. It is estimated that these companies will need $5-7 billion in new funding over the next three years. However, when compared to other markets, the current levels of fintech funding in MENAP are comparatively lower with the exclusion of digital banks.
McKinsey highlights the potential benefits of increased funding for MENAP fintechs, commenting on their ability to attract top talent, target new customer segments, and expand into adjacent markets. Moreover, if these fintech companies can secure funding levels similar to their counterparts in other regions, they would be in a stronger position to drive growth and make a more significant impact.
Therefore, to achieve this, larger average investments and greater participation from local investors will be crucial. This would help raise the necessary funds and increase the fintech contribution to the regional banking sector revenue pool. This value is expected to rise from 1% to almost 2.5%.
Although the UAE saw a decrease in its share of total funding from 80% in 2017 to 35% this year, it is still the leading destination for fintech investment in the region. As per McKinsey, this can be attributed to UAE’s investments in infrastructure and regulatory updates. These have helped in establishing it as a favourable hub for fintech companies. Furthermore, notable start-ups like Careem, Swvl, Emerging Markets Property Group, and Kitopi have emerged from the UAE, further solidifying their reputation.
According to “Fintech in MENAP: A solid foundation for growth”, MENAP fintech firms are expected to experience a 200% increase in annual revenue between 2020 and 2025. Moreover, the study predicts that fintech revenues will reach $3.5-4.5 billion in 2025, up from an estimated $1.5 billion in 2022. Further, fintech penetration in the region is also projected to rise from less than 1% of total MENAP financial services revenue in 2022 to almost 2.5% in 2025.
Additionally, investor funding for MENAP fintech start-ups has seen remarkable growth, quadrupling from around $200 million in 2020 to approximately $885 million in 2022, as reported by Magnitt. Additionally, McKinsey suggests that fintech penetration in the region’s financial services revenue pools could potentially reach up to 4 percent. This will align with the global benchmark for fintech revenue relative to the total financial services sector.
“The recent surge in funding has been particularly strong in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Bahrain as well as in the UAE with the number of firms scaling in these markets growing rapidly”.McKinsey
Securing adequate funding will play a pivotal role in ensuring success as MENAP’s Fintech ecosystem continues to evolve and grow. With the potential for increased investments and local participation, the region’s Fintech industry has an opportunity to thrive and reshape the financial services landscape.