Cairo-based digital banking app, Telda, has raised $5 million in a pre-seed funding round, recording the largest Pre-seed funding in Africa at the moment. Autochek previously raised the largest pre-seed at $3.4million.
The round was led by Sequoia Capital with participation from Berlin-based Global Founders Capital and Class 5 Global, which football star, Mesut Ozil joined as a strategic partner. This marks the first investment for Sequoia in North Africa and the wider GCC region.
The startup also announced it has become the first company to receive a license from the Central Bank of Egypt under the new Banking Agents regulations, empowering it to issue cards and onboard customers to its digital app.
Telda was founded by Ahmed Sabbah, the co-founder and former CTO of Swvl, and Youssef Sholqamy, a former senior engineer in Uber’s infrastructure team. The startup’s core team has a strong track record of building mass-market consumer products globally – with experience from Facebook, Microsoft, Mckinsey, and Noon.
According to Tech Crunch, Telda intends to fast-track its card production and distribution with this new funding. The company currently has more than 30,000 signups already, with half of that already requesting cards. It also plans to capitalize on Sequoia’s name for hiring and expansion.
Telda co-founder and CEO Ahmed Sabbah remarked “We refer to Telda as The Money App. It is the first digital banking experience in Egypt, enabling customers to create a free account in seconds, receive a free Telda card to use online, in stores, and withdraw cash from any ATM worldwide, and pay bills all directly from their phone. Telda customers will also be able to send and receive money instantly and for free from friends, family, and anyone with a mobile phone, as easy as sending a WhatsApp message.”
Telda CTO Youssef Sholqamy added, “Today’s funding milestone promotes the digital transformation of the Egyptian economy and allows Telda to provide everyone with access to important financial services so they can fully participate in the economy.”
Sequoia Partner George Robson commented “There are many parallels between Brazil and Egypt. Both countries boast a large, young, talented, and tech-savvy population with a strong appetite to innovate. We are delighted to partner with Telda and earmark our first investment in the region.”Follow us on social media