Finja, a Pakistan based fintech startup, has just raised received $1 million in a seed funding round led by Vostok Emerging Finance, a Swedish investment firm. The funding is part of a $1.5 million capital injection. The team of Finja expects to close the remaining $500,000 in next few months.
The core team and founders of Finja include some tech and banking industry veterans with a combined experience of over 40 years in their respective industries. CEO of the company, Qasif Shahid, resigned from MCB in late 2014. He was the man behind MCB Lite – one of country’s very first mobile wallets. Monis Rehman, CEO of Rozee.PK, is also a co-founder and board director of Finja. His job portal recently closed a funding round of $6.5 million.
Finja is making a mobile wallet in collaboration with Finca Microfinance Bank. The product is currently in closed beta but its expected to be launched commercially later this year.
One very interesting thing about Finja’s mobile wallet is that it will “come without any come without any service charges (unlike currently available wallets that come with a fee for doing transactions) for both the senders/receivers or for both the buyers and the sellers“, according to company’s CEO. However, he did not give any details about the business model in the absence of service charges.
“This initial seed financing round will enable Finja to demonstrate the power of digital-by-design financial services and is just the beginning of their journey“, said Monis, company’s co-founder.
As a result of this funding round David Nangle, managing director of Vostok Emerging Finance, will take a seat on Finja’s board and will play a key role in guiding the company using his vast experience in growing fintech startups in other emerging markets.
“We are delighted to partner with a truly world-class team in one of the most exciting FinTech markets globally with massive untapped potential,” said David Nangle, “Pakistan’s rapidly growing 3G/4G enabled smartphone subscribers, supported by a progressive regulatory framework, are a game changer for providing digital financial services to the country’s 200 million under-banked population.”