Karachi, Pakistan-based fintech startup Safepay has secured an undisclosed amount of seed funding in February 2021, led by Stripe. Other participants in the funding round include Global Founders Capital, HOF Capital, Soma Capital, and Mantis Venture Capital and Pakistani venture capital firm Fatima Gobi Ventures. Safepay was also a part of Y Combinator’s Summer 2020 batch.
The digital payments startup will use proceeds from the funding round to develop its products, expand its team, and regulatory compliance.
Ziyad Parekh and Raza Naqvi founded Safepay in 2019 intending to build online payments solutions for Pakistani merchants. It launched a beta product in 2019 and could scale rapidly to deliver online payment services to more than 300 merchants in Pakistan. The services shifted offline a year later as the startup expanded and began working with other financial partners and the country’s central bank. The startup has been concentrating on hiring engineers to encourage digital payment acceptance in Pakistan beyond credit and debit cards, including mobile wallets and bank accounts. Ziyad Parekh said they intend to improve the digital payment infrastructure in Pakistan to decrease cash use and other OTC transactions, irrespective of whether this is in a business-to-customer, business-to-business or government-person context. He added that the team feels they are robust to develop innovative payment solutions to enable such transactions. Their final goal is to grow the size of the online economy in Pakistan.
With this investment from global financial services company Stripe, Safepay would also leverage guidance from Stripe’s portfolio companies that have built digital payments products in markets similar to Pakistan.
Raza Naqvi said investors’ choice reflects a combination of funds that already have connections with other businesses in the market and that are optimistic on the entrepreneurial segment in Pakistan. He added that Stripe’s support would provide them with exclusive guidance towards becoming a leading technology provider, creating topnotch products in the area of local payments and commerce.
The founders of Safepay believe that Pakistan is finally evolving as an appealing market for tech investors worldwide. They continued by noting that the credit for the same should be given to startups and local investors who’ve helped put the Pakistani startup ecosystem on the global map. They concluded by saying that the State Bank of Pakistan and the country’s government have also been undertaking initiatives to create an environment for increasing digital payments in general and fintech companies’ contribution.
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