- Amount of funds raised not disclosed
Pakistan's Abhi Pvt, a financial platform, has raised funds at a $40-million valuation just months after introducing its business that allows salaried employees to access funds before payday, reported Bloomberg on Monday.
The Karachi-based company’s bridge round was led by UAE-based Global Ventures, which invested for the first time in Pakistan, according to Chief Executive Officer Omair Ansari.
The amount of funds raised in this round was not disclosed.
US-based Next Billion Ventures, VEF AB, Rally Cap Sarmayacar and VentureSouq also participated in the fundraising, along with TPL e-Ventures and i2i Ventures, Ansari said, according to the Bloomberg report.
Founded by Omair Ansari and Ali Ladhubhai earlier this year, the Karachi-based startup is aiming to become the first financial wellness platform by changing how people spend their money through its web and mobile app, it says.
The platform will start operations in Bangladesh early next year, said Ansari. There is no such platform in Sri Lanka and countries in the Middle East, he said, providing expansion opportunities for the company, added the report.
Abhi’s platform aims to enable employees of its partners to withdraw salary advances based on their accrued wages at any time. As the fintech will be funding these advances, they will have no effect on partner employer’s balance sheets and repayments will be deducted from the employee’s salary.
The app takes less than 30 seconds and two clicks for a registered user to access the funds, with a flat 2% transaction fee. The funds are automatically deducted from the next paycheck. Abhi is also offering working capital to businesses, added the Bloomberg report.
Other than the app, about 10% users accessed funds by sending an SMS and 15% via WhatsApp. It plans to add more products including savings instruments.
Abhi is set to become cash flow positive next month, the CEO was quoted as saying.
Back in June, Abhi announced that it has raised $2 million for its salary advance platform in a seed round led by Vostok Emerging Finance.
Village Global, i2i Ventures, Sarmayacar, Zayn Capital, Portman Wills, the co-founder and CTO of Wagestream, had also participated in the equity-only round.
Pakistan’s startup scene has been gaining immense attention in recent months. In the first nine months of 2021 alone, the country’s startups raised a record amount with investments at over $305 million, according to data compiled by Karachi-based Alpha Beta Core (ABCore), an early-stage tech-based investment firm.