Nclude, an Egyptian fintech-focused VC firm founded earlier this year in partnership with Egypt’s leading national banks – Banque Misr, National Bank of Egypt, and Banque Du Caire – has received an undisclosed investment from Mastercard to help accelerate Egypt’s evolving fintech ecosystem and support the country’s digital transformation journey. The partnership will increase financial inclusion in Egypt by investing in promising early- and growth-stage fintech and fintech-enabled businesses.
The investments will benefit early- and growth-stage fintech companies tackling financial inclusion in Egypt, as well as the Central Bank of Egypt’s vision of making Egypt an innovation hub for fintech across the Middle East and Africa region.
Giving reason for the investment, Khalid Elgibali, Division President, MENA at Mastercard said “Our contribution to Nclude stems from our longstanding commitment to accelerate the country’s digital transformation, drive financial inclusion rates and reinforce Egypt’s position as an innovation hub for the fintech industry in the wider region. We see a new door for an opportunity in our collaboration with Nclude fund, where Egyptian fintech can be offered an enabling environment to achieve their full potential.”
Basil Moftah, General Partner at Nclude on his part said “Mastercard’s global platform and commitment to fintech is a great complement to the Nclude strategy. We are super excited to welcome their global expertise to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Egypt. Fintech and fintech-enabled companies are witnessing exponential growth in the market and we look forward to partnering with Mastercard to continue to fuel this growth and position Egypt as a regional center of excellence for fintech innovation.”
What You Should Know
The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) is driving a vision to position Egypt as an Innovation Hub for fintech across the Middle East and Africa by upskilling youths, improving access to capital, and developing technology infrastructure. These efforts are aimed at quickly increasing the rate of financial inclusion in order to benefit all Egyptians, only 56% of whom are part of the formal economy. It also focuses on closing Egypt’s massive SME lending gap and improving the quality of financial services available to businesses and individuals.
Additionally, Eslam Darwish, Founding General Partner at Nclude on his part said “Having Mastercard invest in Nclude is a milestone for us. This fund will enable us to further support entrepreneurs in Egypt’s vibrant startup ecosystem who are driving fintech innovation and helping transform the country into a digital and financially inclusive economy. The partnership with Mastercard will also help us provide ambitious founders with the tools they need to succeed and compete at local, regional, and global levels.”
Furthermore, Adam Jones, Country General Manager, MENA Central at Mastercard said “We are excited to collaborate with the Nclude Fund in continuation of our efforts to increase financial inclusion in key markets like Egypt, underscoring our global goal of connecting one billion people to the digital economy. Through this partnership, we aim to empower Egypt’s rapidly evolving fintech ecosystem to allow individuals and businesses to have access to quality financial services, thus promoting the growth of the country’s digital and formal economy.”
Nclude was launched in March 2022 upon approval by the CBE, and initially saw an investment of $100 million from the 3 national banks as well as Egyptian Banks Company (EBC) and e-Finance. With Mastercard, a pioneer in advancing financial inclusion in Egypt and the world, joining in, Nclude Fund is quickly becoming a go-to fund for fintech startups looking to grow their operations and services.
Mastercard’s dedication to supporting financial inclusion globally saw the company pledge to connect 1 billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses, including 25 million women entrepreneurs, to the digital economy by 2025.