Dubai-based personal finance application Wally announced that it has raised $400,000 (Dhs1.5 million) in its first phase of funding. The app, launched in March 2013, currently has 100,000 active users across the world.
“Securing our first round of funding is an important milestone for the company, and one which will allow us to scale and expand to meet the demands of our global users,” said Saeid Hejazi, CEO and co-founder, Wally.
“This funding will go towards product development and engineering. Our key aim is to create the right product, bringing it closer to a complete personal financial solution, and achieve our next milestone of one million active users globally,” he said.
Wally, a free iPhone app, essentially helps users anywhere in the world keep track of what they spend and the details, in their own currencies.
The app is now planning an update, which will also allow users to plan and budget their income and spending.
“This update is more than just a new feature, it marks the next level for Wally…The number one requested feature by users is now live, giving them the ability to plan their savings and work towards their personal financial goals,” said Baher al Hakim, co-founder, Wally.
Start-ups in the UAE have been attracting strong investor appetite in recent months: Dubai-based e-commerce website Cobone.com was acquired by US-based investment firm Tiger Global Management for an undisclosed sum in March this year, while UAE-based online retailer Souq.com, received a new round of investment from South African media group Naspers Limited in October last year.
According to Omar Christidis, founder and CEO of ArabNet, which is currently organising a three-day digital forum in Dubai, UAE start-ups are more advanced, have more momentum and more assets.
“They have investors, teams, they are selling and moving – they have stronger fundamentals for success,” he said.