Digital wallet provider, Hubpay is launching a seed funding round to ramp up in the Middle East, with an eye to parlay into the $US3 trillion Asian digital wallet market.
The company believes the digital wallet market is well positioned for the post COVID-19 world, with the digitalisation of remittances set to accelerate, creating better access and supporting financial inclusion for the international remittance community.
The Dubai based FinTech startup sees the Middle East as a vital strategic market, and an initial step to gain a share of the e-wallet market between the Middle East and South Asia, which is dominated by remittances payments from foreign workers back to their home countries in Asia.
Hubpay’s figures show United Arab Emirates as the third largest global market for remittances, with $US44 billion of payments made last year – with the majority of these flows going to the fastest growing mobile money markets; India, Pakistan, Philippines, Bangladesh and Indonesia.
The remittance channels provide a direct route to the $US3 trillion digital wallet market across Asia.
The seed funding round is led by US venture capital firm, Signal Peak Ventures, which focuses on early-stage technology companies and is currently closing its $US 200 million cross-sector fund.
“Hubpay represents Signal Peak’s first investment in the Middle East,” says Managing Partner of Signal Peak Ventures, Brandon Tidwell.
“We recognise the enormous potential the market has and have great confidence in Hubpay’s team to capitalise on this unique opportunity.”
UAE angel investment group – the Falcon Network, is also participating in the seed round.
Hubpay, part of Accelerator, Startupbootcamp’s 2019 FinTech Dubai program, says it’s in the advanced stages of the licensing process to receive a money services licence in the United Arab Emirates market.
Hubpay Founder and CEO, Kevin Kilty says the FinTech market in the Middle East is at a turning point, especially in the post coronavirus economy.
“A wave of new digital regulatory regimes has been launched enabling businesses like Hubpay to offer fully digital solutions to users in one of the largest remittance markets in the world,” he says.
“The UAE represents Hubpay’s first market launch, as part of a wider strategy to offer the leading digital wallet for the remittance community across the Middle East and Asia.
“In a post COVID-19 world, the digitalisation of remittances will accelerate, creating better access and supporting financial inclusion for the international remittance community.”
Hubpay has also joined the Visa Fast Track program, with an aim to leverage Visa’s payment infrastructure and further scale the business.
“Channelling the payment capabilities, brand assets and expertise of Visa, with the ideas, passion and entrepreneurial spirit of fintechs, enables our continued growth,” says Otto Williams, Vice President – Strategic Partnerships, Ventures and Fintechs, CEMEA at Visa.
“We look forward to working with Hubpay and connecting them and their solutions with our bank and merchant partners, so that innovative new commerce experiences can be delivered with scale and with pace.”