NayaPay has raised $13 million in seed capital in order to reach millions of people in one of the world’s most underbanked countries.
According to Chief Executive Officer Danish Lakhani, the seed round for the Karachi-based firm was headed by Zayn Capital, MSA Novo, and Silicon Valley early-stage investor Graph Ventures. After acquiring a license from the State Bank of Pakistan in August, NayaPay became the first company to offer financial services. Students and freelancers were initially targeted by fintech’s chat-based payments app.
As more people adopted the convenience of digital payments during the pandemic, fintech startups in underdeveloped countries are attracting greater investor attention. Only 1% of Pakistan’s over $4 trillion in payments are performed online. According to the World Bank, the country has the world’s third-largest number of people without access to banking services.
“In Pakistan, fintech is a tremendous opportunity,” said Lakhani, who formerly managed StormFiber, the country’s largest fiber-broadband service.
Similar to Square, WeChat Pay, and Venmo, NayaPay is now developing a payment network for small and medium businesses. In five years, the company hopes to have five million clients and 300,000 merchants, according to Lakhani.
Saison Capital, Lakson Group, Waleed Saigol’s Maple Leaf Capital, and Warren Hogarth of Empower Finance were among those that took part in the round.
“While still in the early stages of development, Pakistani fintech has the advantage of learning from their peers and making more informed strategic bets,” said Faisal Aftab, co-founder of Zayn Capital.