CBE greenlights new fund to support fintech, accelerate financial inclusion in Egypt

Doaa A.Moneim , Sunday 20 Mar 2022

Egypt’s largest national banks — Banque Misr, National Bank of Egypt (NBE), and Banque du Caire — as well as Global Ventures launched on Sunday ‘Nclude’, a new fintech support fund.


Approved by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), the fund is an implementation of Egypt’s strategic vision that aims to support young innovators.

The fund has a mission to accelerate fintech innovation and drive financial inclusion in the country with an initial investment amounting to $85 million financed by the three national banks as well as other investors, including Egypt’s state-owned e-finance Investment Group and Egyptian Banks Company.

The fund also has a plan to attract further investment from prominent regional and international investors.

It has already made its first investments in four companies, which include Khazna, a financial super app that offers convenient, technology-driven financial solutions to underserved consumers; Lucky, Egypt’s leading consumer fintech app, offering instalments, offers, cashback rewards and credit; Mozare3, meaning farmer in Arabic, is an agri-fintech platform that provides smallholder farmers with direct access to inputs financing, markets, and hands-on technical support; in addition to Paymob, a leading digital payment service provider

In addition to investing in existing start-ups, the fund will be supported by Shipyard Technology Ventures — a global venture builder — which is expected to create fintech start-ups that address opportunities at local and regional levels.

“This step is an implementation of the directives of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to support innovative youths in the fintech and fintech-enabled sector as well as the CBE’s Fintech and Innovation Strategy, which aims to create an enabling environment for the fintech industry and adopt more innovative solutions capable of delivering banking and financial services to all segments of society more easily and at less cost as a crucial step to transform Egypt into a regional centre for the fintech industry in the Arab World and Africa,” said CBE Governor Tarek Amer.  

He added that such a strategy is based on key integrated pillars, which are represented in supporting fintech talents and young entrepreneurs and providing a stimulating legislative and regulatory environment for the fintech industry in a way that achieves a balance between financial stability and unleashing innovation.

This is in addition to meeting the fintech market’s demand areas and adoption of new solutions, and increasing investments directed to fintech and fintech-enabled solutions, which is considered a top priority pillar, according to Amer.

Chairperson of Banque Misr Mohamed El-Etreby stated that the bank’s contribution to this fund is a reflection of its commitment to keeping up with the pace of global developments in fintech, as it is the future of banking and financial services in Egypt and the world.

“This fund will achieve many gains for the Egyptian Economy by supporting the country’s young fintech talent and creating the ideal environment for them to develop innovative solutions that will help deliver banking and financial services to all segments of society in a more efficient and affordable manner. This is an important step to transform Egypt into a regional centre for the Arab and African fintech industry. It will also help raise financial inclusion rates and accelerate Egypt’s digital transformation, which is integral to achieving Egypt’s 2030 Vision,” he explained.

“The Nclude Fund aims to sponsor early-stage fintech start-ups and young fintech talents, who will help build the Egyptian economy of the future. It also targets creating an appropriate environment to attract, nurture, and localise talent in the Egyptian market to build creative fintech solutions,” stated Hisham Okasha, the chairperson of the NBE.

For his part, Chairperson and CEO of Banque du Caire Tarek Fayed noted that the launch of this fund creates a unique opportunity for investors and entrepreneurs to come together and create a scalable and affordable fintech solutions to improve the quality of current services and create new services using cutting edge technology that leverages a data-driven approach to attract the underbanked and financially excluded segments of society.

“This fund has a strategic developmental angle that will benefit the Egyptian economy as a whole and position the country as a regional fintech innovation hub,” he further added. 

Meanwhile, partner at Global Ventures Basil Moftah expounded that Egypt’s huge unbanked young population and cash-dominated economy offers strong opportunities for local and regional fintech and fintech-enabled companies that continue to witness exponential growth in the market.

“We look forward to partnering with all stakeholders in the ecosystem to continue to fuel this growth and transform Egypt into a Regional centre of excellence for fintech innovation,” Moftah said.

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