Egypt state banks launch Nclude, an $85M innovation fund for fintech companies

Egypt state banks launch Nclude, an $85M innovation fund for fintech companies

Three of Egypt’s biggest state-owned banks are jointly setting up an $85 million financial technology fund called Nclude which aims at accelerating innovation in the fintech sector. The fund will focus on both accelerating fintech and driving financial inclusion in the country. Venture capital firm, Global Ventures, a partner in the fund made the announcement through a press release.

Over the last two years, Egypt’s favorable legislative and regulatory changes have paved the way for a surge in fintech investment and have changed how the country’s largely unbanked citizens carry about their business.

Banque Misr will act as an anchor investor in the program, with the National Bank of Egypt and Banque du Caire as strategic investors, reports the statement by Global Ventures, which main focus is on the Middle East and Africa.

eFinance Investment Group, a state-controlled payment firm, and Egyptian Banks Co, a payments operator led by the central bank, will also participate. The Nclude fund aims to attract additional participation from regional and international investors.

As per the press release, Nclude has already made four investments. Investments have gone towards financial Khazna, which provides products to underserved consumers, and consumer FinTech app Lucky, which offers installments, cashback rewards, and credits to consumers. Agricultural fintech platform Mazare3 also benefited from the fund. Mozare3 provides small farmers with input financing, markets, and technical support, and then, the digital payment service provider, Paymob.

Tarek Amer, governor of the Central Bank of Egypt, said Nclude was intended “to support innovative youth in Fintech and Fintech-enabled sector,” as well as the Central Bank of Egypt’s FinTech and Innovation Strategy.

Amer continued that adopting “innovative FinTech solutions capable of delivering banking and financial services to all segments of society more easily and at less cost” was a “crucial step to transform Egypt into a regional center for the FinTech industry in the Arab World and Africa.”