Pakistan-based Buy Now Pay Later platform QisstPay has secured $15 million in seed and pre-seed funding. The round was led by MSA Capital and featured institutional investment participation from Global Founders Capital, Fox Ventures, and First Check Ventures – as well as strategic angel investments from Scalapay co-founders Simone Mancini and Johnny Mitrevski.
The capital, a combination of debt and equity financing, will help the company expand both its services and workforce, ideally boosting its team to more than 100 people by year’s end. QisstPay also believes the funding will accelerate its ability to fund transactions and partnerships with traditional financial institutions in Pakistan, as well as expand its services to neighboring Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
QisstPay was founded less than a year ago, in November 2020, to solve a very basic problem for consumers in emerging market economies in general and in Pakistan in specific. Many citizens in developing countries do not have the financial means to get approval for credit cards and other forms of consumer financing popular in the West and the more developed economies in Asia. This impacts not only their ability to purchase recreational and luxury goods, but also impairs their access to everyday necessities.
As QisstPay co-founder and CEO Jordan Olivas explained: “After moving here to Pakistan, I noticed how badly the people of this country need a financial tool to help them purchase goods and services that they not only want, but actually need.”
QisstPay offers an installment payment service that responds to this problem by enabling consumers to pay for their purchases in four installments without having to pay interest or worry about late fees. Purchases of between 1,500 and 500,000 PKR (approximately $9 to $3,000 USD) are eligible, and consumers can use both debit and credit cards to make their repayments. The company noted that it plans to enable repayment via digital wallet soon.
The low penetration rate of credit cards and the dominance of cash are some of the reasons why QisstPay has caught on. Add to this the high population of young, digitally-savvy people in countries like Pakistan, and it is easy to see why the company has more than 500 retailers in Pakistan using its service. This includes brands such as Samsung, Diesel, Philips, Xiaomi, and Lenovo, as well as the largest Shopify store in the country.
“Over 60% of Pakistan’s population is under the age of 30, which means that the majority of the country is adopting new technologies,” Olivas said. “Yet so many people still believe that Pakistan isn’t ready to adopt a BNPL system. The rapid growth and use of a platform like QisstPay proves otherwise.”
Tim Chen, General Partner at MSA Capital underscored this point. “Pakistan is one of the most often overlooked countries when it comes to fintech investments,” Chen said. “However, it’s also one of the countries with the most potential.”
For more insight into the fintech ecosystem in Pakistan, check out Tracxn’s highlight of ten of the top fintechs in the country, as well as this list from LocalWriter. One of the most comprehensive looks at the fintech industry in Pakistan in recent times is available in the landscape study by Mohsin Termezy, founder and CEO of Finclude, and Hussam Razi, a Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Specialist with Karandaaz Pakistan, published this summer.
Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- Identity verification company Veriff teamed up with Cards-as-a-Service platform for MENA and Pakistan, SimpliFi.
- Paytech innovator Global Processing Services (GPS) announced new MENA headquarters in Dubai.
- Citi launched a dedicated technology hub in Bahrain to further development of its Citi Velocity and Citi FX Pulse platforms.
Central and Southern Asia
- Pakistan-based fintech Oraan secured $3 million in seed funding to boost financial inclusion for women.
- India’s Federal Bank teamed up with the National Payments Corporation of India to launch RuPay Signet contactless credit card.
- Capital Float, a Buy Now Pay Later platform based in India, raised $50 million in a round led by Lightrock India.
Latin America and the Caribbean
- Mexican B2B payments platform Higo scored $23 million in Series A round led by Accel.
- Brazilian e-commerce platform Infracommerce acquired rival Synapcom for $224 million.
- Mexico-based SME lender Konfio raised $110 million to earn a valuation of $1.3 billion.
- Thailand’s Ascend Money, which offers an e-wallet service called TrueMoney, raised $150 million in Series C funding to achieve a valuation of $1.5 billion
- China’s Alibaba Group to begin offering payment services from Tencent’s WeChat after mandate from the government against blocking each other’s services.
- ICYMI: Indonesian digital payment infrastructure company Xendit earned unicorn status earlier this month courtesy of a $150 million investment in a round led by Tiger Global.
- South African digital lender Payabill introduced a new payment solution to help SMEs settle the bills of international suppliers.
- Yellow Card, an African cryptocurrency exchange, secured $15 million in Series A investment.
- Nigera’s central bank announced that it will introduce its digital eNaira next week on October 4th.
Central and Eastern Europe
- Austrian payment orchestration platform IXOPAY partnered with acquirer and payment processor MultiSafepay.
- Lithuania-based payment gateway service provider Paysera unveiled its new carrier-neutral parcel locker network, Lockers.
- Kinguin, a gaming digital marketplace based in Poland, teamed up with cryptocurrency trading platform Bitcoin Vault to market NFTs.