valU, the leading Buy-Now, Pay-Later (BNPL) lifestyle-enabling fintech platform in the MENA region, announced today the complete acquisition of Paynas, full-service employee management and benefits startup that provides financial services to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME). Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, Rania A. Al-Mashat, witnessed the final acquisition agreement signing ceremony.
This acquisition is in line with valU’s mission to provide the broader society with seamless financial solutions that facilitate their day-to-day activities and improve their lifestyle, as well as Paynas’ mission of being the MENA’s leading financial wellness and benefits platform by providing access and convenience beyond employment. As a result, valU’s collaboration with Paynas will serve as a catalyst for valU to reach micro, small, and medium businesses, which are regarded as the backbone of the economy, and will open up new opportunities for both employers and employees.
Furthermore, valU will now leverage a powerful ecosystem comprised of compelling B2B partnerships, multiple acquisition channels, and a multi-product platform that will maximize returns for both players through cross-selling synergies and low customer acquisition costs. The collaboration expands the reach of valU’s BNPL solutions by tapping into Paynas’s MSME client and employee base, integrating them into valU’s client base, and supplementing Paynas’s offering with a comprehensive range of financing products. Furthermore, digitizing Paynas users’ datasets will put valU in a better position to offer them more cost-effective BNPL products by improving its loan disbursement cycles and credit scoring systems.
The Minister’s Remark
Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, said during the final signing of the acquisition agreement, “This pivotal transaction reflects the compelling investment opportunities and growth prospects presented by Egypt’s start-up and fintech sectors.” It highlights the country’s efforts to become a leading entrepreneurial hub in the region, owing to a unique set of advantages such as talented youth, significant economic opportunities, and the ongoing efforts of the public and private sectors to create a conducive business environment for start-ups that encourages private sector participation in the country’s advancement.”
“The transaction also demonstrates the success of Egypt Ventures, the first government-backed venture capital vehicle established in 2017, and its accelerator program EFG-EV Fintech, which is jointly owned with EFG Hermes Holding, in assisting start-ups on their journey for growth and expansion, in line with Egypt’s digital transformation and financial inclusion agenda, as well as their achievements in opening doors for entrepreneurs so they can deliver their role in supporting the Egyptian economy,” the honorable minister concluded.
What the Stakeholders are Saying
Walid Hassouna, valU CEO
Walid Hassouna, CEO of valU, noted, “Paynas is a strategic fit for us, and the combination of our two companies will drive significant value for our shareholders and customers by delivering a 360° financial and lifestyle enabling solution, to address every aspect of people’s lives and improve their overall quality of living.”
He went on to add, “This, along with the addition of exceptional talent to our team, solidifies our position as the region’s leading fintech platform.” Our most valuable asset has always been our people, and we sought out a company that places people at the center of everything they do. We are very excited and look forward to seeing new, big ideas come to life under the valU brand that can drive tech products and bring new conveniences to our customers while efficiently rolling out cross-border initiatives in the region.”
“Paynas has built a leading brand and has been playing a pivotal role in fostering financial inclusion of micro, small, and medium businesses, as well as the unbanked in Egypt,” said Mohamed Mounir, CEO of Paynas. We’re looking forward to making more meaningful changes in people’s lives by allowing them more access to finance and bringing effective financial solutions to their doorstep, as both companies are driven to have a social and economic impact. This acquisition is evidence of our success thus far, which we can attribute in large part to the support of our investors who believed in our vision.”
This is valU’s second acquisition this year, following its 35% stake in FAS Finance, the consumer finance arm of Saudi Arabia’s FAS Labs, which enabled valU to expand geographically and enter the Saudi market while providing consumer finance solutions through FAS. During the same month, the company announced the sale of a 4.99% stake to Alhokair family members, paving the way for the platform to form strategic regional partnerships.
valU will leverage Paynas’ digital and technological prowess to become the go-to fintech platform. Paynas, Egypt’s first startup with an Agent Banking License, integrates small and medium businesses into the financial system by digitizing their wage payments via Paynas’ payroll cards — issued in collaboration with Banque Misr and powered by Visa — which, in conjunction with the Paynas app, allows employees to improve their financial planning and wellness and contributes to a cashless economy. The acquisition provides customers with a seamless shopping experience and is a stepping stone towards their further integration into Egypt’s digital economy by combining valU’s roster of installment programs with the Paynas payroll card.