Pakistani Startup Raises $2.5 Million to Grow its Embedded Finance Platform and Help Underbanked Communities

Pakistan’s Karachi-based finance startup just recently announced a new capital raising of $2.5 million. The amount has been raised as a part of the startup’s seed funding and will go towards the further development of its embedded finance platform that is aimed at helping the underbanked communities of Pakistan.

Founded by Nadeem Shaikh, Vladimira Briestenska and Naeem Zamindar, Neem was built to target a long in tooth problem and that was the exploitative banking system that refuses to serve the under or less privileged individuals or businesses. Founders knew it was the perfect unaddressed market to be targeted and took their best shot at it around three years ago.

For the last three years, Neem has come up as a growing and budding startup that targets a large group of communities such as agriculture, MSMEs, e-commerce, logistics, and healthcare. Neem provides its users with a lending platform through which they can access a wide variety of lending products, these users include both individuals and small-scale businesses that require financial assistance.

Apart from its embedded finance platform, Neem has also been working on a Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform, which is expected to be completed by December 2022. Neem’s Banking Service platform, once live, will allow features such as wallets, payments and even financial products such as insurance and savings which will be tailored to fit perfectly for specific communities.

Co-founder Nadeem Shaikh while talking about the industry he is working in said that “Most of the [existing] players are providing a B2C solution; we are a B2B2C solution. If you look at the embedded finance space, it is a $167 billion opportunity”. Further explaining the market, he said that around 53 million people in Pakistan are currently underbanked. Now, these surely are massive numbers making Neem’s growth inevitable.

This $2.5 Million seed funding round was led by Hong Kong-based SparkLabs Fintech. Other major investors included Pakistan’s investment banking firm Arif Habib, Cordoba Logistics and Ventures, Taarah Ventures, My Asia VC, Concept Vines and Building Capital, etc. Neem with this investment plans to expand its team, roll out a BaaS platform and capitalize on licenses.

“We have a strong conviction about Neem’s mission to enable financial wellness for underbanked communities, and have full confidence in the Neem leadership team to realize this vision amidst macro challenges across the globe,” said William Chu, Managing Partner, SparkLabs.



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