Finja lands Series A investment from Habib Bank in Pakistan

Digital lending start-up, Finja, has secured extra investment in its Series A from Pakistan’s largest commercial bank, Habib Bank (HBL).

HBL says its investment serves a two-pronged purpose

HBL joins other fintech funds invested in Finja including BeeNext, Vostok Emerging Finance, Quona Capital, and ICU Ventures.

All investors from previous rounds topped up their investment in this latest round of financing. HBL says its investment in Finja serves two of the bank’s strategic priorities: investing in digital financial inclusion and reinventing HBL to become a ‘technology company with a banking licence’.

Finja claims to have disbursed over 50,000 digital loans to micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs). The firm says that despite being the backbone of the economy, small businesses in Pakistan have struggled to obtain credit to grow.

“We are pleased to have HBL participate in this funding round,” says Qasif Shahid, CEO and co-founder at Finja.

“Our know-how in digitally scoring undocumented small businesses has resulted in 64% month-on-month portfolio growth since the outbreak of the pandemic.

“HBL’s financial clout, extensive network and progressive leadership will help us support and nurture Pakistan’s most important business segment, the SMEs.”

Muhammad Aurangzeb, president and CEO at HBL, says loans are “critical” for Pakistan’s economic growth.

“We are pleased to be investing in Finja. Pakistan’s fintech landscape has immense opportunities.

“At HBL we believe that by making this investment we are not only developing the start-up ecosystem, but it will also pave the way for Pakistan to play a bigger role in the fintech space globally.

“SME lending is the future and therefore we are investing in Finja which enjoys a first mover advantage over the market in digitally lending to SMEs in this country.”

Related: WorldRemit and Xpress Money launch instant money transfers to Pakistan


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