Dubai, UAE-based fintech startup Ziina, the first social Peer-to-Peer (P2P) payment application in the region, last week announced that it is participating in Y-Combinator Winter 2021 batch. Notably, the third UAE-based startup to get recognition from Y-Combinator.
At the same time, the company announced its seed funding round led by OTF Jasoor Ventures, with participation from Class 5 Global, Long Journey Ventures, Graph Ventures, Jabbar Internet Group, FJ Labs and Wamda.
Ziina’s latest funding round also includes some of fintech’s most prolific operators including former Revolut executives, and early employees from Stripe, Brex, Paypal’s Venmo, Deel, and Notion. This collective makes for a strategic mix of local investors, Silicon Valley expertise, and fintech operators that have scaled massive businesses.
Through Y-Combinator, which is also known for its competitive entry system, Ziina has access to a vast network and a range of highly experienced mentors. The fintech will now go through the YC three-month accelerator programme culminating in Demo Day – an opportunity to pitch to many of the world’s most successful investors.
Founded in 2020 by Faisal Toukan, Sarah Toukan, and Andrew Gold, Ziina is the latest addition to the Middle East’s fintech ecosystem and is capitalising on the region’s rapid adoption of fintech friendly regulation.
Ziina offers its users in the UAE simplified P2P payment services, with plans to expand to Saudi Arabia and Jordan by 2022. Its mission is to simplify finance for the Middle East.
Speaking of the latest developments, Faisal Toukan, CEO & Co-founder of Ziina, in a press statement, said,
“The participation with Y-Combinator is a game-changer for Ziina and we are thrilled that we have fallen into the very small bracket of companies who are accepted. We’re excited to tap into Y-Combinator’s larger network, including its exceptional talent and investor pools. Furthermore, it also allows us to have access to mentors from top technology companies, which will propel Ziina to an even higher level when it comes to scaling our operations,”
“One of our missions at Ziina is linking the best talent and resources of the UAE with those of Silicon Valley. We’ve seen the UAE take a highly proactive approach to supporting the fintech ecosystem and we are thrilled to be a part of it,”
“Coupled with this, we’ve received an enthusiastic response from VCs and angel investors during our latest funding round and are incredibly grateful for their support. This will contribute to supercharging Ziina’s growth in the year ahead, achieving the goals we’ve set. Through Ziina we want to help redefine the way people in the Middle East think of, interact with and experience financial services. Our company is founded on the belief that everyone should have access to the next generation of financial services.”
Ziina is building on its current application to provide an even more seamless way for friends and family to split payments. In 2021, it plans to expand its product offering to include simplified payments for freelancers and small businesses.