MoneyHash, an Egyptian fintech startup based in the United States that is developing the Middle East and Africa’s first Super-API for payment orchestration and revenue operations, has officially launched its platform across the Middle East and Africa.
They also announced that they had raised $3 million in pre-seed funding. MoneyHash allows businesses in emerging markets to streamline their payment stack and optimize pay-in/pay-out processes without breaking the bank, with an ambitious aim to become the AWS of payments.
For payment processing and payout, early-stage companies often start with one or two providers. However, as they expand, they will need to add provider after provider to suit their expanding needs.
“Each expansion can take an in-house tech team 3-10 weeks, not to mention the ongoing demands of reporting reconciliation, operational inefficiencies, and technical vulnerabilities,” says Mustafa Eid, co-founder and CTO at MoneyHash. “And that’s a challenge we are passionate to solve.”
“When it comes to emerging markets, and particularly the Middle East & Africa, these challenges are magnified,” adds Nader Abdelrazik, co-founder and CEO. “The region is highly fragmented due to the lack of economic integration between countries in MEA, which means that the countries’ payment methods, currencies, and regulations operate in isolation. By building a custom infrastructure with a single integration and a central dashboard, we provide a platform for companies to grow and address this complexity without depleting their resources.”
Since early 2021, the company has been in beta, with 17 companies testing integration and tools in its sandbox environment. The team did thorough user research with over 150 companies, engaged multiple service providers from around the region, and developed a comprehensive toolkit.
MoneyHash users can connect to services across the revenue stack with only one connection point, from pay-in/pay-out providers across MEA to value-added services like KYC, fraud detection, and loyalty programs.
MoneyHash also offers customizable services for a range of enterprises, including a unified checkout experience for e-commerce, centralized reporting for business intelligence, and micro-services like transaction routing, subscription management, and invoicing, in addition to the Super-API.
MoneyHash allows businesses to rapidly and simply create a payment stack that meets their specific requirements.
The pre-seed round has an impressive ensemble of investors led by UAE’s venture capital firm COTU Ventures, and the participation of MENA fintech fund VentureSouq and European fund VentureFriends. Other participating funds include Nuwa Capital, The Continent Venture Partners, First Check Africa, Fox Ventures, Kepple Africa Ventures and Lofty Capital Inc. A global group of angel investors also participated in the round, including NerdWallet’s Tim Chen and Jake Gibson, Belvo’s Oriol Tintore, and regional operators such as Jad Antoun (Huspy), Feras Jalbout (Baraka), and Hussein Elkheshen (Sakneen). Some were moved to invest after their companies participated in MoneyHash’s beta program, a reflection of their enthusiasm about MoneyHash’s team, product, and vision.
“When I first heard of MoneyHash, I was very excited by the idea. I saw huge potential in having an aggregator for all different payment gateways, which would both reduce engineering time and increase visibility on transactions. Sakneen saw these benefits firsthand when we enrolled in the MoneyHash private beta, and I believe that their tools will continue to help us scale and expand in the future. I am excited for what the future holds, both as a customer and as an angel investor.” says Hussein Elkheshen, CTO of Sakneen.
This round is an extension to an undisclosed six-figure raise announced in 2021, which was also led by COTU Ventures with the participation of Venture Platform (Nigeria) and repeat investors Kepple Africa Ventures and Lofty Capital Inc.
While massive global companies like Airbnb and Uber create dedicated teams to design and manage payment systems, and companies like Spreedly and Zooz sprung up to serve the US and Europe, emerging markets have remained underserved.
Joshua Kaplan, partner at Wilson Sonsini and the former COO of Checkout.com, and a member of MoneyHash’s advisory board explains: “The financial technology sector, and digital payments, in particular, is a foundational piece of the infrastructure on which the digital economy in the region is being built. MoneyHash is building an important framework to accelerate the development and growth potential of SMBs and enterprises in the region by automating their access to digital payment methods and adjacent services.”
MoneyHash will use the funds to grow its team and extend the capabilities of the Super-API to serve businesses across MEA with a simple, comprehensive payment solution.
MoneyHash was founded in late 2020 by three co-founders: Nader Abdelrazik (Egyptian), Mustafa Eid (Egyptian), and Anisha Sekar (American). Combined, they have over 30 years of experience and worked for 11 startups, in addition to an impressive portfolio of employers and education such as Microsoft, UpWork, NerdWallet, UC Berkeley, SigFig, and Brown University.
Amir Farha, the founder of COTU Ventures, has been a champion of MoneyHash’s team. He explained that “MoneyHash is led by three remarkable founders with deep knowledge of payments and acumen for product-led execution. They are attracting a great team of talent, and after their impressive beta run, their product is ready for prime time. We are excited to be part of their journey.”
Since its inception, MoneyHash has been a fully remote team with 15 team members across the US, Egypt, UAE, Nigeria, and Europe. The team is currently hiring mid-level and senior software engineers.