- UAE-based fintech Flow48 has raised $25 million in pre-Series A funding, comprising a mix of equity and debt from several investors, including Speedinvest, Daphni, 212, Blockchain Founders Fund, Unpopular Ventures, Endeavor Catalyst, and TLG, as well as Scott Sandell from NEA.
- Founded in 2022 by Idriss Al Rifai, Flow48 provides upfront financing to SMEs to facilitate their growth by transforming future revenues into up-front capital under flexible terms.
- The new financing will accelerate the company’s expansion plans into South Africa.
Flow48, a UAE-based fintech startup, announces $25 million in pre-Series A funding, marking a significant milestone in its mission to push the frontier of SME lending. The round, comprising a mix of equity and debt, includes notable investors such as Speedinvest, Daphni, 212, Blockchain Founders Fund, Unpopular Ventures, Endeavor Catalyst, and TLG, as well as angel investors, among them Scott Sandell from NEA.
"What Flow48 is bringing to the table is not just innovative; it's essential for SME growth in the region's economic landscape. As we look ahead, the potential for Flow48 to expand beyond Revenue Based Financing is very exciting. The team is on track to become a full-service fintech solution for SMEs and expand their offerings to insurance, payments, and other financial services," remarked Enrique Martinez Hausmann, Principal at Speedinvest.
Founded by Idriss Al Rifai on the principle of addressing the challenges SMEs face in securing working capital financing, Flow48 has developed a state-of-the-art platform that stands out with its real-time functionality, integrating seamlessly with major ERP providers, payment gateways, and e-commerce platforms. By enriching its proprietary risk engine and leveraging arrays of data from several sources, Flow48 is able to offer a more precise and efficient credit assessment process, setting new standards in SME lending.
A unique aspect of Flow48's model is its commitment to ESG principles, focusing on empowering underrepresented segments within the SME sector. Notably, the startup has prioritised funding SMEs owned by minorities and women, a significant step in fostering inclusivity and diversity in the business landscape. “We believe that if the gap in financing exists for everyone and every industry, the hurdle is even higher if you are a woman or from a minority background," says Al Rifai. “What we offer can be vital for these small business owners. We are contributing to building a more equitable economic environment.
In line with its broader mission, Flow48 is engaging with SMEs that drive positive environmental impact. This includes not only a focus on green energy sectors but also supporting enterprises that integrate sustainable practises into their business models. Among its diverse client base, Flow48 proudly counts several women and minority migrant-led businesses.
With its eyes set on expansion, Flow48 is strategically venturing into South Africa, attracted by its robust SME lending market and advanced fintech ecosystem. This move aligns with the company’s commitment to data-driven, real-time lending solutions and its ambition to empower SMEs across emerging markets globally. Going into South Africa is not just geographical but a deliberate step to integrate into thriving fintech ecosystems.
Reflecting on this strategic expansion, Shabir Vasram from Daphni emphasised the transformative impact of Flow48's approach in emerging markets: "In a context where access to financing is more challenging, it is crucial to have a data-driven approach and better score companies."
Echoing this sentiment, Numan Numan, Founding Partner at 212 added, "Flow48 exemplifies the ideal partner profile for us at 212. Their innovative approach to a significant problem (SME financing gap in target regions), combined with their remarkable team, aligns perfectly with our values. We are also particularly impressed by their capacity to attract seasoned investors, each bringing a unique perspective, in pursuit of a common objective. We are very enthusiastic to join this alliance led by Flow48 team and look forward to what is ahead.”
Flow48's recent funding success and expansion plans underscore its commitment to redefining the B2B lending space, with a keen focus on ESG principles. As it continues to innovate and grow, Flow48 is well-positioned to leverage emerging opportunities in the international financial services arena, driving impactful change for SMEs worldwide.
"At Endeavor, we have witnessed a new generation of serial tech founders in the Middle East who are solving worldwide problems on a large scale. Our journey supporting Idriss Al Rifai goes back to 2015, when we first invested in his second company, Fetchr. Today, we proudly announce the investment in Flow48, unlocking access to capital for millions of SMEs in the region," added Allen Taylor, Managing Partner at Endeavor Catalyst.