Hala (previously Halalah) one of the first fintech startups to obtain the full SAMA license, secures $6.5 Million (24.3 Million SAR) Series A round.
The round included the participation of Impact46 Growth fund, Wamda & strategic investors. With the recent introduction of the platform’s new brand name, Hala is redefining its strategy aiming to cover new means of financial service as well as to expand its offering regionally.
Since 2018, Hala has built a strong infrastructure in the fintech industry offering a complete payment and wallet solution for both individuals and merchants. Catering to the new financial opportunity in Saudi, Hala has recently been focusing on services enabling merchants to consolidate their in-bound and out-bound payment needs in one comprehensive platform.
During early 2019, “Hala” began providing its services to individuals through the digital wallet and electronic payment services and to merchants via the QR Code technology, which proved to be appealing to customers, where the platform managed to attract hundreds of thousands of individual users who were attracted to the customer experience that the platform provided.
In February of 2020, Hala began to focus on providing its services to merchants, mainly small and medium sized, as this segment has a major pain point in terms of the access to meaningful financial services with digital payments not exceeding 10% of its total transactions. Hala managed to achieve great traction in this segment and was able to cross the 10,000-merchant threshold in less than 6 months of operation. Hala offers merchants an attractive package of a POS device, a Visa/Mada card, an IBAN and a simple App that gives them instant visibility on their transactions, and allows them conduct multiple financial transactions including settling vendor and supplier payments as well as conducting in-bound and outbound transfers from and to bank accounts.
This offering, topped with a combination of small but tailor-made features and a unique user journey provides a consolidated experience for those merchants and a main selling edge for Hala. Hala is continuously working on initiatives to expand its spectrum of services to include other financial and non-financial services that can support its customers in growing their business; as such, Hala succeeded in 2020 to acquire on of the most prominent local companies that provide value-added services for merchants including cashier systems, inventory management tools, accounting and tax reporting and as well as supplier management platform, among others.
Within only three years of its inception, Hala was able to build a solid infrastructure and achieve impressive figures which was recognized through multiple global, regional and local awards that it won for its innovations, the most prominent of which was its selection among the top 100 Arab startups shaping the 4th industrial revolution in the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2019, the Fintech Leader of the Year “by MEFTECH in 2019 as well as being chosen as one of the top 100 companies in the field of FinTech (“Fintech 100”) in Fintech Abu Dhabi 2020.”
Simply, Hala aspires to be the future bank of SME’s, and its team is building the blocks in order to achieve this vision.
“The Fintech sector is continuously evolving. Hala, one of the first fintech solutions licensed by the Saudi Central Bank, has played a vital role in promoting the growth of this industry in the region. With the digitization of financial solutions, Hala is taking part in facilitating B2C financial transactions, the platform also continues to take advantage of the promising opportunities in this sector, to achieve rapid growth on a larger scale.”
Added Abdulaziz Al-Omran, Founder of Impact46.
“The round was led by Impact46 Growth Fund and is considered the second investment of the fund and first fintech platform to join its portfolio. As the fund focuses on supporting later-stage startups, it’s managed by an experienced investment team who has witnessed the entrepreneurial revolution in Saudi from its beginnings, and today they are contributing to build the ecosystem in the Kingdom. Impact46 Growth Fund is set to capitalize on investing in emerging technology startups across sectors with a higher focus on companies targeting the Saudi market. ”
Featured image credit: screengrab from Hala