By Gavin Gibbon
Start-up launched in Dubai's In5 tech incubator
UAE fintech app Ziina is offering a payment transfer option as easy as sending a text.
The country’s first licensed social peer-to-peer (P2P) payment application is aimed at simplifying payments – users can send and receive money with just a phone number, with no IBAN or swift code required.
The young start-up, which launched operations out of Dubai’s In5 tech start-up incubator, with a license issued by TECOM, raised a pre-seed round of $850,000, led by San Francisco based Class 5 Global with participation from Samih Toukan’s Jabbar Internet Group, and other prominent angel investors.
CEO and co-founder, Faisal Toukan, said: “With several user-centric features, Ziina will redefine the way people in the Middle East think of, interact with and experience financial services. Our company is founded on the belief that everyone should have access to the next generation of financial services.”
In the UAE, 8.8 million individuals, making up 91.57 percent of the population, access social media with their mobile devices. On average, users spend 2.56 hours on social media daily.
Ziina plans to gradually introduce several other services such as QR code integration, prepaid cards, and utility payments, amongst others. In the medium-term, Ziina will integrate different revenue streams.
“We want to democratise access to financial services by placing one platform in the hands of every individual. For example, we want to make it possible for anyone who wishes to invest to do so easily by integrating 3rd party robo-advisors to Ziina's platform. We will prioritize use-cases based on customers’ largest pain points and add them product by product,” said Sarah Toukan, co-founder and chief product officer.
Ziina has also revealed plans to launch operations in Saudi Arabia in 2021.