Blnk, an Egyptian startup in consumer credit, has raised US$32 million in debt and equity capital to expand its AI-powered lending infrastructure and fund its quickly expanding user base. Blnk is an AI-enabled digital consumer finance platform that enables merchants with an onboarding and quick credit-underwriting technology to offer financing to their clients at the point of sale. It was formed in 2021 by Amr Sultan and Tarek Elsheikh.
Blnk claimed to have raised $32 million, which was split among various funding rounds and stages: $11.2 million in debt financing, $11.2 million in pre-seed and seed equity rounds, and $8.3 million in securitized bond issuance. These rounds were led by Abu Dhabi’s Emirates International Investment Company [EIIC], Sawari Ventures, and other investors. It intends to promote its “AI-powered” lending infrastructure and “accelerate financial inclusion among underrepresented communities across the country.”
Blnk accomplishes this, according to Sultan, who co-founded the business with Tarek Elsheikh, by evaluating the riskiness and debt-service capacity of its customers through its in-house risk-scoring model and credit underwriting system. Through a network of more than 300 merchants, half of which are active, Blnk claims to have already given more than $20 million in loans to over 60,000 consumers who are paying an average interest rate of 2.6% per month.
Blnk has to date disbursed more than $20 million to date in loans and consumers can easily access Blnk’s services at any of Blnk’s merchant network in many of the Egyptian shops , with just their national ID. In just 3 minutes their would have gotten their loans and can get a repayment of up to 36 months.
A number of top local banks provided the US$11.2 million in debt financing, while National Bank of Egypt and Banque du Caire underwrote the US$8.3 million securitized bond issuance, making Blnk the newest company in Egypt to securitize its loan book.
“Our mission is to make it easier for more Egyptians to purchase the products and services they desire by offering inclusive and convenient consumer credit at the point of sale. We are delighted to have the backing of a great cohort of investors at an early stage in our journey. With their support, we believe we can drive financial inclusion in Egypt, as well as the wider Middle East and North Africa region,” Sultan said.
Speaking about the investment, Joseph Iskander, the head of investment at the lead investor EIIC, said: “We are committed to identifying and investing in value accretive businesses. We are convinced that the Egyptian market and its startup ecosystem present a compelling opportunity for regional and international investors. We are excited to collaborate with the team at Blnk to accomplish their objectives as we are glad to cooperate with them to promote financial inclusion and economic growth in Egypt.