Dubai-based fintech startup, Pemo, is poised for expansion across the MENAP region, after announcing the raise of a $12 million seed round. Led by Berlin’s Cherry Ventures and Abu Dhabi’s Shorooq Partners, the investment also saw participation from FinTech Collective, Speedinvest, BY Venture Partners, Antler and a troop of angel investors.
Aimed at SMEs, Pemo offers an all-in-one spend management platform for SMEs in emerging markets, with the first batch of UAE-based companies already in the pipeline as part of the onboarding process. The investment has come in tandem with the launch of the platform, which currently offers features including digitised invoices, automated approval flows, one-click invoice payments and real-time cash flow monitoring.
“We’re operating in a region where more than 90% of businesses are SMEs, many of which rely heavily on multiple platforms, processes and entities to manage their corporate spending, creating a number of challenges, such as irregular expense reports and high costs,” said Ayham Gorani CEO and co-founder of Pemo, alongside Valerie Konde, Alessandro Duri and Saed Ghorani. “This is exactly the day-to-day friction we are removing by combining all spend management functions in one hub. Ultimately, this helps businesses to save money and time, while empowering team members to make purchasing decisions quickly and responsibly.”
Pemo will soon also allow users to avail physical and virtual prepaid cards for employees. The prepaid card utilises the Pemo app to organise employee expenses and store receipts for each transaction, while offering business owners and management full visibility of corporate spending.
The investment speaks of the increasing VC interest in fintech in MENAP and Turkey, with fintech startups accounting for 28% of all transactions and 29% of all capital. In Q1’22. UAE in particular has proven to be a fruitful breeding ground in the region, boasting the most number of deals and VC investments. Pakistan has also witnessed impressive numbers, with VC investment in the fintech sector increasing 2000% YoY.
In addition to its MENAP expansion plans – KSA, Egypt and Pakistan, in particular – the team at Pemo intend to channel the investment in product development, as it looks to take the lead in a corporate spend sub-sector that has more than a few players ready to strike.