- Saudi Arabia-based fintech Tamara has raised $100 million in a Series B equity round from investors including Sanabil Investments, Coatue, Shurooq Partners, Endeavor Catalyst and existing investor Checkout.com.
- Founded in 2020 by Abdulmajeed Alsukhan, Turki Bin Zarah and Abdulmohsen Albabtain, Tamara is a buy now pay later (BNPL) offering that allows consumers to buy a product and pay for it later in instalments.
- The latest round would support Tamara to expand into new markets and introduce new services and products.
- Tamara expects to reach profitability next year, with plans for a listing in Saudi Arabia in the future, which may include a second listing in other markets such as the United Kingdom.
Saudi fintech startup Tamara, the leading payments startup focused on driving financial inclusion across the Middle East, has raised a $100m Series B equity round led by Sanabil Investments, a wholly owned company by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) with participation from Coatue, Shorooq Partners, Endeavor Catalyst and follow-on investment by global fintech Checkout.com.
The company – which has seen exceptional adoption with more than 3 million customers, a 10x year-on-year revenue growth and over 4,000 partner merchants including leading global and regional brands like IKEA, SHEIN, Adidas, Namshi and Jarir plus local SMEs – will use the funding to expand its product offering across payments and shopping in addition to launching in new markets.
Abdulmajeed Alsukhan, Tamara’s Co-founder and CEO, said: “Our mission is to deliver an exceptional experience to our customers by offering transparent, seamless and inclusive payment solutions. Tamara has established itself as the trusted, reliable and sustainable local partner for any regional or global business looking to expand in Saudi Arabia and MENA.”
Abdulmajeed added: “We act as a marketing and discovery channel for our partner merchants to drive new customers and incremental sales online and in-store. After working with Tamara, our partners have seen on average 40% higher average order value, 20% lower cash on delivery, 15% higher conversion and significantly lower order return rates.”
Commenting on the announcement, Sanabil Investments said: “Tamara’s exceptional growth while maintaining healthy unit economics speaks volumes about what the team has achieved so far. We at Sanabil back industry disruptors and transformers, and in Tamara we found a team that has the qualities to transform huge industries such as financial services and shopping in the region and beyond.”
Remo Giovanni Abbondandolo, VP for MENA at Checkout.com, said: “Tamara has emerged as the payment method of choice for millions of consumers across the region. As the leading payments provider in MENA, Checkout.com's investment demonstrates our belief in Tamara's exceptional team and our commitment to supporting digital growth in the region. As such, Checkout.com will also serve Tamara as a payment method to our merchants -- to compound growth in one of the fastest-growing markets globally."
A spokesperson for Coatue, which is also an investor in Checkout.com, said: “We believe in Tamara’s potential to broaden its product portfolio and bring greater fintech innovation to the region. We look forward to seeing the company’s growth and expansion in payment solutions.”
Launched in September 2020 by Saudi entrepreneurs Abdulmajeed Alsukhan, Turki Bin Zarah and Abdulmohsen Albabtain, Tamara is at the forefront of a new generation of payment solutions. It was the first BNPL to enrol in the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA)’s Sandbox program.
Five months after launching, Tamara closed a $6 million seed funding round in January 2021 followed by a $110 million Series A led by Checkout.com in April 2021 – the largest-ever recorded in the Middle East and North Africa region, making the total funding so far $216 million in equity and debt. Tamara has attracted over 3 million customers and more than 4,000 partner merchants including leading global and regional brands like IKEA, SHEIN, Adidas, Namshi and Jarir plus local SMEs.
According to research by Checkout.com, more than 50% of customers across the region will use BNPL in 2022 – putting the Middle East "out ahead" as a leader in adoption. The survey concluded that – in addition to those already using BNPL – 31% of UAE residents plan to use the technology in the coming 12 months followed by Saudi Arabia at 27%, Kuwait at 26% and Bahrain at 18%.