Goldman Sachs backs BNPL startup Tamara with $150m facility
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Goldman Sachs backs BNPL startup Tamara with $150m facility

Goldman Sachs backs BNPL startup Tamara with $150m facility

The facility will help finance the growing demand for bringing the buy now, pay later products in the GCC while continuing its growth across new verticals

Tamara, Goldman Sachs

Saudi fintech startup Tamara has secured a receivables warehouse facility of up to $150m from Goldman Sachs, bringing the buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) firm’s total funding in equity and debt to $366m since its launch in 2020.

The fintech platform said the facility will help it finance the growing demand for BNPL products in the GCC while continuing its growth across new verticals.

“We believe that Goldman Sachs, with their track record in working with similar companies of our stage globally, is the ideal financing partner for Tamara,” Abdulmajeed Alsukhan, co-founder and CEO of Tamara.

Tamara said adding that it is crucial for the startup to work with global and regional financial partners with strong balance sheets that can provide incremental funding to support growth.

Alsukhan hailed Goldman Sachs’ facility as “the first of its kind in the region” and a testament to the company’s ability to secure financing from top-tier global financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs at a time when the global venture capital industry has slowed down in response to macroeconomic climate.

Tamara has influenced how people shop

Riyadh-based Tamara is one of the largest BNPL providers in the region having onboarded six million customers over the past three years across Saudi Arabia, its home market, as well as the kingdom’s GCC neighbours including the UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain.

The fintech firm is revolutionising how people shop, pay and bank.

It facilitates payments for thousands of more than 15,000 partner merchants including regional and global brands such as SHEIN, IKEA, Jarir, Noon and H&M.

Tamara has a global workforce of over 350 employees spread across its offices in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Germany and Vietnam.

The startup continues to see significant potential for growth in the Middle East region, where credit card usage lags behind more mature markets.

Read: Buy-now-pay-later firms switch from Gen Z shoppers to businesses

Global payments firm Visa said that fewer barriers to entry, lower fees and a seamless user experience are some of the many reasons why BNPL services have gained popularity in the Middle East.

The service has continued to thrive, with fintech startups across the region attracting substantial user growth and investor interest since the outbreak of the pandemic.

GCC’s growing BNPL sector

BNPL startup Tabby Meanwhile, Tamara was founded by Abdulmajeed Alsukhan, Turki Bin Zarah and Abdulmohsen Albabtain to allow shoppers in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait to purchase items on credit and pay later with a series of instalments.

The fintech startup raised $100m from investors including Sanabil Investments, which is owned by Saudi wealth fund Public Investment Fund, Coatue, Shurooq Partners, Endeavor Catalyst and existing investor

The company counts Dubai-based Tabby and Postpay among its competitors.

The fintech sector in the Middle East region is undergoing a rapid transformation and has received significant global investment in recent years.

Tabby raised $58m in a Series C funding round that was led by Sequoia Capital India and had the participation of investors including PayPal Ventures and Mubadala Investment Capital.

Read: leads $110m round for Saudi fintech Tamara

MAGNiTT in its 2022 Venture Debt Investment Report said that venture debt deals in the MENA region almost doubled between 2021 and 2022. Funding was concentrated in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan.

MENA has been a hotbed of innovation over the years and the growth in the BNPL industry is being driven by the shift to e-commerce, high mobile penetration, the region’s tech-savvy youthful population and limited access to short-term credit.

In other news, online fashion retailer Namshi has partnered with shopping and financial services app Tabby to offer customers flexible payment solutions.

Namshi shoppers can now choose to pay for purchases in four interest-free installments at the time of checkout.

The fashion retailer was established in 2011, which was later acquired by Emaar Malls and, more recently, by noon.

Read: Online fashion retailer Namshi teams up with Tabby

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