UAE Sheikh invests $5.4 million in Pakistan-based start-up

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A Sheikh from the UAE has invested $5.4 million in Pakistan’s fastest-growing mobile payments company, Inov8 Limited.

His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, is the sole investor in the company’s Series A round, investing $5.4 million in the company which has achieved a valuation in excess of $100 million.

“I have invested in multiple mobile payments and commerce initiatives, and I find the depth of the management, the product platform, and the vision of the founders to be the best I have come across.  I look forward to being an integral part of their success story,” Al Nahayan said.

Inov8 Limited is the region’s fastest growing mobile payments company and a dominant player in Pakistan’s market. With its award winning products and services, the company is set to expand to Africa and the Middle East.

“Sheikh Al Nahayan is an avid investor in the industry and understands it quite well,” CEO and co-Founder of the company, Hasnain A Sheikh said while speaking to The Express Tribune, adding that “we are in a strong partnership with Wateen Telecom (owned by Al Nahayan) which is how the investment came about.”

“This round of funding is testament to the massive upsurge in the demand for Inov8 products and services across the region, which has been phenomenal over the last 18 months,” he said.

His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan. PHOTO: DAILYNEWS

Meanwhile, co-founder and president, Bashir Sheikh said,”We will be utilising our funds for our growth across the Middle East and Africa region with an expectation to raise a much larger Series B round in the near future. We will be looking to grow organically and via acquisition, for businesses, products and teams.”

Commenting on the future goals of the company, Hasnain said there is one simple goal, adding that “the company aims to become the number one mobile payments company in the world by 2020.”

“Inov8 has been working to grow the mobile payments industry in Pakistan since 2004. Today we have one of the largest offerings of products and services as well as one of the biggest client portfolios in the region,” he said earlier.

Inov8 has been pioneering digital and mobile payments in Pakistan for over a decade, and recently made news for bringing internet payments to Pakistan via an exclusive alliance with a leading aggregator operating in North America and the region.

This is the first time that global names including Google Play Store, Apple, AppStore, iTunes and Skype, among 50 others, are being made available locally to Pakistani consumers. This is one of many product and service offerings from Inov8.

With Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak being the sole investor in its Series A round, Inov8′s headquarters have moved to the UAE, while maintaining some of its presence in the UK.  However, the funding received, along with the post money valuation should pave way for further investment in to Pakistan’s burgeoning technology industry.

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