Tabby Clinches $200 Million for Series D, Becomes Gulf's First Fintech Unicorn

Tabby Clinches $200 Million for Series D, Becomes Gulf's First Fintech Unicorn

In a time when buy now, pay later (BNPL) fintechs are facing scrutiny and valuation slashes in Western markets, Middle Eastern counterpart Tabby bucks the trend, securing a hefty $200 million in Series D financing. This round propels Tabby's valuation to $1.5 billion, crowning it as the Gulf's first fintech unicorn, signalling robust growth and critical market impact.

Transaction Highlights:

  • Deal Value: $200 million.
  • Investors: Led by Wellington Management, with participation from Sequoia Capital India, STV, Mubadala Investment Capital, PayPal Ventures, Arbor Ventures, and newcomer Bluepool Capital.
  • Recipient: Tabby, the leading BNPL platform in the Middle East, now headquartered in Riyadh.

Company Snapshot:

Tabby has marked its territory as a formidable entity in the BNPL space by reaching this valuation less than a year following a successful $58 million Series C round. With the vision of its CEO, Hosam Arab, Tabby has drawn in keen investor interest despite broader market concerns, underpinning its profitable expansion and hinting at a forthcoming IPO.

Market Dynamics:

While its contemporaries struggle, Tabby thrives, collaborating with over 30,000 brands and reaching over 10 million users, rivalling the likes of Afterpay and Affirm, albeit with a smaller customer base than Klarna. Its profitability in the GCC is ascribed to market peculiarities: moderate e-commerce penetration and limited credit options position BNPL as not merely convenient but essential.

Unique Consumer Insights:

Tabby's success leans on serving two customer segments: those with scant credit card access and those preferring its tokenized payment method. By valuing credit accessibility and regulatory compliance, Tabby maintains healthy payment performance and consumer trust, avoiding the pitfalls of excessive debt often associated with BNPL services.

Strategic Movements:

The decision to exit Egypt, while strategic, opens a window into Tabby's operational philosophy: enter markets with substantial e-commerce growth, moderate credit card use, and robust purchasing power. Focusing on its primary market, Saudi Arabia, which contributes 80% of its customer base, Tabby is preparing for an IPO on the Saudi stock exchange, though the timeline remains undisclosed.

Tabby's strategy moving forward includes cementing its market stronghold by rolling out a plethora of credit products and financial services aimed at enriching customer financial health, exemplifying a synergy of market disruption and disciplined expansion.

Looking Forward:

With an annualized transaction volume exceeding $6 billion and the establishment of Tabby Shop, Tabby's blueprint for growth is clear. Investment in its primary markets, especially with the introduction of the Tabby Card in the UAE, demonstrates its commitment to a diversified financial ecosystem. STV's CEO, Abdulrahman Tarabzouni, reaffirms this sentiment, lauding Tabby as a benchmark for disciplined disruption and integral to Saudi Arabia's burgeoning fintech landscape.

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