Gulf locks in first fintech unicorn with Tabby

The Riyadh ‘buy now, pay later’ startup is valued at $1.5 billion after raising $200 million in a Series D funding round

A nighttime view of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Sui Xiankai/Xinhua via Getty Images)

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – Bucking a global trend of valuation corrections, the Gulf has its first fintech unicorn with Tabby. The Saudi “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) startup has been valued at $1.5 billion after raising $200 million in a series D funding round as it prepares to go public on the kingdom’s stock exchange. 

U.S.-based Wellington Management led the round, with participation from Hong Kong’s Blue Pool Capital and existing investors Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Capital, Saudi Arabia’s STV Ventures, PayPal Ventures and Hong Kong’s Arbor Ventures.

Tabby, founded in Dubai in 2019, relocated to the Saudi capital of Riyadh in September as part of plans to list on the Tadawul stock market. 

The company manages over $6 billion in annual transaction volume and has 10 million users across Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait. The platform works with over 30,000 brands, including 10 of the largest retail groups in the MENA region as well as Amazon, H&M and SHEIN. 

BNPL is a kind of short-term financing that lets online shoppers make purchases and pay for them in installments, with companies integrating their payment platform into e-commerce sites, an offering that has taken off in the Middle East with several players popping up: Tamara, Postpay and Cashew are among those jostling for share in the region. 

Hosam Arab, CEO and co-founder of Tabby, told TechCrunch in an interview on Wednesday that the company is profitable. “Tabby created a new industry and is transforming the way people consume and pay across MENA,” Abdulrahman Tarabzouni, founder and CEO of STV, said in a statement. 

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