Saudi Arabia-based fintech Tabby has raised $200 million in equity financing at a valuation of $1.5 billion making it the first fintech in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to achieve unicorn status.

A fintech unicorn describes startups that are valued at more than $1 billion. According to FintechLabs, which tracks the valuation of global fintech unicorns, approximately 340 startups have achieved this ranking, globally, with eight new fintechs added in the last two years.

Founded in 2019, Tabby joins a list dominated by US-based firms, but led by Chinese e-commerce giant Ant Technology which was valued at $79 billion in July. Shopify, PayPal, Stripe and Brazil’s Nubank make up the top five highest valued fintech unicorns followed by Revolut, Afterpay and Block among others.

Tabby’s Series D round, which comes ahead of its planned IPO in Saudi Arabia, is led by Wellington Management, a leading independent investment management firm, with additional participation from growth equity investor Bluepool Capital. In addition, existing investors include STV, Mubadala Investment Capital, PayPal Ventures and Arbor Ventures.

The financing will allow the shopping and financial services app to serve increased demand for its buy now, pay later offering, which reportedly manages over $6 billion in annualised transaction volume. Its use as a payment method in physical stores, including Tabby Card, has continuesd to accelerate, now reaching over 20% of total volumes, the company said.

Source: Tabby

Hosam Arab, CEO and Co-Founder of Tabby, said: “Tabby set out with a purpose to reshape financial services–one that’s fair and responsible–and with this investment we can advance our mission across Saudi Arabia and the UAE. We’re very happy to have Wellington Management lead this round given their deep expertise in financial services.”

Abdulrahman Tarabzouni, Founder and CEO of STV, added: “Tabby created a new industry and is transforming the way people consume and pay across MENA. Hosam and team built an iconic enterprise that is a reference model in terms of both discipline and disruption; two things that are hard to crack in-tandem. We are excited to see Tabby become an integral part of Saudi’s fintech landscape, nurturing growth and empowering the broader economy.”

In May, Tabby upsized its debt facility to $350 million after closing a new financing round led by San Francisco-based Partners for Growth (PFG), along with Atalaya Capital Management and CoVenture. More recently, the company launched Tabby Shop, a digital shopping assistant designed to help simplify the shopping process.


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Image: Co-founders Hosam Arab and Daniil Barkalov (courtesy of Tabby)