- Egypt-based fintech startup Telda, has raised a $5 million pre-Seed round, led by Sequoia Capital, with participation from Global Founders Capital and Class 5 Global. The round marks Sequoia's first-ever foray in Mena.
- Founded last month by Ahmed Sabbah, Swvl's co-founder and former CTO, and Youssef Sholqamy, ex-senior engineer in Uber's infrastructure team, Telda offers digital banking services that cater to the financial needs of Millennials and Gen Z.
- Through the app, users can set up an account with their phone number and national IDs. Telda's account comes with a Mastercard-powered card that can be requested from the app and used for online payments, in-store purchases, and cash withdrawals. Users can receive money on Telda from anyone in Egypt and beyond using the international bank account number (IBAN) that they receive for their digital account.
- In its first month of operation, the startup has already acquired over 30,000 sign-ups.
Telda, a Cairo-based digital banking app has raised a $5M Pre-Seed funding round, led by Sequoia Capital with participation from Global Founders Capital and Class 5 Global. This marks the first investment for Sequoia in North Africa and GCC and the first investment by Global Founders Capital and Class 5 Global in Egypt.
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 on-board customers to its digital app.
Telda was founded by Ahmed Sabbah, the cofounder 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.
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 to 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.”
GFC Partner Roel Janssen said “We are highly impressed by Sabbah and Sholqamy and love their vision for building the region’s leading digital banking app and we are proud to be part of their journey. It is GFC’s first investment in Egypt and we see that Egypt has the potential to become an important hub in the global tech ecosystem.”
Class 5 Global Managing Partner Youcef Oudjidane mentioned “Money has become a medium of self-expression - a form of identity - not solely a store of value. Telda has done a remarkable job of embedding their culture and values in the product, in both functionality and design. No hidden fees, no maintenance charges, no paperwork nor stress, coupled with an elegant design to enable a self-service experience.”