EGYPT – Egypt-based financial firm Telda, has received US$20 million in seed investment to broaden its product portfolio and enter new markets.

Existing investors Global Founders Capital led the fundraising round, which also included participation from Sequoia Capital, a venture capital company based in Silicon Valley, and new investment Block Inc., which was formerly known as Square Inc and Jack Dorsey’s Block Inc.

Founded in 2021 by Swvl’s co-founder and former CTO Ahmed Sabbah and Youssef Sholqamy, Telda provides a vast array of functions, including the free issuing of Mastercard-powered prepaid cards.

The prepaid cards provide a completely integrated payment experience without the requirement for a bank account, as they may be used for online purchases, in-store purchases, and cash withdrawals from any ATM in the world.

In addition, users will be able to send and receive money instantaneously and for free from any other Telda user, as well as monitor their accounts and spending through the control and insights tools that make users aware of their spending habits and in complete control of what their card can accomplish.

Telda is a financial brand designed for Millennials and Generation Z, who are actively seeking smart and simple solutions to manage and monitor their costs without visiting a bank to open an account.

This action is in line with the nation’s aim to promote financial inclusion, allowing all citizens to access modern financial services that meet their needs and eventually resulting in sustainable economic growth for both individuals and the nation.

Its first market, Egypt, is one of the highest consumer spending markets in Africa. The North African market’s private consumption accounts for nearly 85% of its nominal GDP, and only 4% of its overall GDP is cashless.

Card usage in the country is still in its infancy in the cash-heavy society, but startups like Telda are banking on their card products to change the narrative, or at least try.

“In Egypt dealing with money is still a complicated matter; making it easy and straightforward will have a large impact not just on the economy but also the society as a whole,” said Youssef Sholqamy, Telda’s co-founder, and a former engineer in Uber Technologies Inc.’s infrastructure team.

In a country where 50% of its 100 million people are active smartphone users, two out of every three individuals have little or no access to formal financial services in Egypt.

Telda is one of several fintech apps that have raised marked capital to provide these services such as rewards, cards, and buy now, pay later to individual consumers. Other fintechs include Sympl, Lucky and Khazna.

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