Egyptian Digital Lending Platform Blnk Raises $32 Million
Blnk, an Egyptian fintech startup that enables access to instant consumer credit, has raised millions in equity and debt funding.
Launched in October 2021 by Amr Sultan and Tarek Elsheikh, Blnk is an Egypt-based digital lending platform that “empowers merchants of all sizes to instantly underwrite and finance their customer’s purchases at the point of sale”. In a recent round of funding, the company managed to raise $23.7 million in equity and a further $8.3 million in securitized bond issuance. The funding will help support the ongoing development of the company’s AI-powered lending platform and aid with future expansion efforts.
For those unfamiliar with Blnk, the company offers credit for a wide range of products and services, with only a national ID required for application and decisions made in as little as 3 minutes. So far, Blnk has handed out over $20 million in loans, with installments ranging from 6 to 36 months.
“Our mission is to make it easier for more Egyptians to purchase the products and services they desire by offering inclusive and convenient consumer credit at the point of sale. We are delighted to have the backing of a great cohort of investors early in our journey. With their support, we believe we can drive financial inclusion in Egypt, as well as the wider Middle East and North Africa region,” says Amr Sultan, Co-founder, and CEO of Blnk.
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According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Egypt is soon expected to become the second-largest economy in the MENA region by the end of this year. However, with only 4% of Egyptians having credit cards, consumers and businesses are unable to take full advantage of economic opportunities, with many finding it difficult to realize their full potential.
By providing inclusive access to financing for consumers across Egypt, Blnk is helping to drive growth and development in the Egyptian economy that would otherwise be difficult.
NEOM Airlines Is Saudi Arabia’s New, Tech-Centric Carrier
The airline will embrace advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, and utilize high-tech propulsion systems by 2026.
Opening in 2025, NEOM is a $500 billion Saudi Arabian smart city that will be powered entirely by renewable energy. Now, Saudi authorities have announced that the futuristic metropolis will also be served by its own dedicated carrier — NEOM Airlines.
The service will begin operating in 2024 and embrace advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence and biometric check in. Aircraft will fly to and from NEOM Bay before moving to the soon-to-be-built NEOM International Airport.
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NEOM Airlines will focus on tourist, commercial, and residential travel and incorporate plenty of cutting-edge technology. Klaus Goersch, the airline’s CEO, revealed that existing aircraft will be retrofitted with existing technology on launch, but by 2026, an ultra-modern fleet will be in operation, “whether electric, hydrogen-powered, or supersonic”.
As well as modern, low-emissions power airplanes, NEOM aircraft will also be fitted with sleek, modern interiors, 6G Wi-Fi, large screens for every seat, plus gaming and chat technology.