Egypt’s MNT-Halan raises $400M to become Africa’s latest unicorn

Egypt's MNT-Halan raises $400M to become Africa's latest unicorn

Egypt’s largest and fast-growing lender to the banked and unbanked, MNT-Halan, has raised over $400 million in equity and debt financing from local and global investors as it continues to serve its users in the North African country.

The round of this raise includes $260 million in equity financing and $140 million through two securitized bond issuances secured within the past year. The incoming investment will see MNT-Halan command a valuation of about $1 billion, making it Egypt’s only unicorn

Abu Dhabi–based Chimera Investments provided a large chunk of the equity, about $200 million, which was in exchange for 20% of the Egyptian digital lender and e-commerce platform in the advanced stages of raising $60 million in additional capital in the coming weeks.

IFC disclosed that it was investing $40 million in the company, but MNT-Halan declined to comment; it’s expected that the remaining financing will come from existing shareholders. In a statement by MNT-Halan, the investments “demonstrate continued confidence in its value proposition, management team, and superior technology.”

According to the statement, MNT-Halan’s digital ecosystem serves more than 5 million customers in Egypt, of which 3.5 million are financial clients and over 2 million are borrowers. The startup plans to launch a debit card for its customers by the end of March.

Read also: Convergence Partners raises $296 million despite reduced private capital investment in Africa last year

The company envisions expanding internationally after solid growth in Egypt and progress on the merger with Netherlands-based microlending platform MNT Investments. The company also wants to extend grocery shopping in addition to other e-commerce stores selling electronics and personal items to individual customers.

Egypt's MNT-Halan raises $400M to become Africa's latest unicorn

The CEO, Mounir Nakhla said;

We’re capitalizing on our existing distribution through million-plus customers and adding services within our ecosystem,” said the chief executive. If you need a loan for your business, we’re going to give you one; you need a loan for consumption, we’re going to give you one; you need to order groceries or buy a mobile phone on our platform, we’ll deliver it to you via our e-commerce stores. Also, we can give them the credit they can use to make all of these purchases within the ecosystem.

MNT-Halan’s achievements so far

MNT-Halan lends to single small business owners who need lending to manage their businesses

In 2021, Halan operated a digital wallet that offered bill payments, e-commerce and ride-hailing as well as micro, nano, and consumer loans. Also, it sealed the merger with MNT Investments (a microlending platform operating in Egypt with roots dating back to 2010) to provide financing solutions to the underbanked and unbanked.

The leveraged buyout deal established in 2018 witnessed both companies adopt a new name called MNT-Halan, having its headquarters in Egypt and providing digital ecosystem connections like; consumers, merchants and micro-enterprises with business loans, consumer finance, payments, BNPL and e-commerce offerings which Neuron, its proprietary technology, backed.

Last June, it also acquired Talabeyah, a B2B e-commerce platform that offers FMCG supplies directly to small merchants and retailers with next-day delivery. This acquisition has allowed MNT-Halan to provide loans to its merchants, who then, in an agency banking play, act as mobile agents to individual customers who are still in business.

However, Nakhla noted that due to the company’s focus on commerce and lending, it’s had to shut down its ride-hailing operations, one of Halan’s core offerings before the merger, which mostly lagged international mobility outfits like Uber, Careem and inDriver. Whereas MNT-Halan faces competition from Khazna, Paymob and MaxAB across its other product offerings.

Commenting on the raise, Seif Fikry, CEO of Chimera Abu Dhabi, said the company was pleased to be part of Egypt’s fintech success story.

“We are thrilled to be part of Egypt’s greatest fintech success story. MNT-Halan’s upward trajectory and momentum reflect the management team’s realization of its extraordinary vision to transform a high-touch business by seamlessly infusing an unparalleled proprietary tech platform while increasing product depth for its target customer segment.”

Read also: South Africa’s Teraco secures syndicated loan worth over $670m to create energy-efficient data centres

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