Halan – Business Idea, Value Proposition, and Everything else about the company

More than 70 percent of Egypt’s fast-growing population of over 100 million is young and financially under-served and overlooked by traditional financial institutions, yet mobile penetration in the country exceeds 90 percent.

This is where the fintech Halan entered with a viable business model, that provides digital solutions, including lending, BNPL, e-commerce, payments, and on-demand logistics, supporting its mission to empower underserved communities, address inequality, and encourage female economic participation.

What is Halan?

Founded back in 2017, as a ride-sharing and delivery app, Halan has since ventured into new services and now connects consumers, vendors, and micro-enterprises through a digital platform and payment solutions.

Halan evolved in 2018 from a ride-hailing app to a super fintech services company providing funding solutions for small businesses and consumer financing away from the banking system.

The startup’s objective is to financially include 100 million underserved and underbanked Egyptians digitally, through their services and technology, which allows the scalability of financing a growing customer base and provides them with expertise through simple and accessible solutions. 

Background of Founders

Ahmed Mohsen

Ahmed is an alumnus of the American University in Cairo, who completed his Bachelor’s in Computer Science. He started his career as a Software Engineer at IBM. Over the course of the next few years, he worked at a number of national and international firms in different capacities.

He founded a number of startups including, Sort6, MusiQ, and Halan in 2017 that transformed into MNT-Halan in 2018.

Mounir Nakhla

Mounir completed his undergrad at the Regent’s University London, with a major in International Business Studies. After this, he went for and completed his Master’s at the London School of Economics.

He started his early career as a Microfinance consultant at Environment Quality International. During the course of the next few years, he founded a good few startups. In 2009, he founded Mashroey, then in 2015, he joined Tasaheel as founder and executive chairman.

In 2017, he became the CEO and founder of Halan and then in 2018, he along with his colleague launched MNT-Halan.

Why Halan?

The startup’s proprietary fintech ecosystem connects customers, vendors, and micro-enterprises through its consumer-facing app, merchant app, distributed lending and payment processing software, and payment solutions, as well as offering services such as ride-hailing and logistics.

With around one million monthly active users, MNT-Halan serves more than four million customers in Egypt,  of which 3.1 million are financial clients and 1.8 million are borrowers. The company has disbursed more than $1.7 billion of loans and is now targeting further growth and overseas expansion after raising $120 million in funding.

The fintech company has been granted micro, consumer, and nano finance licenses from the Egyptian Financial Regulatory Authority. It is also the first licensed independent electronic wallet from the Central Bank of Egypt. These licenses enable the company to provide services to both businesses and consumers across Egypt.

Funding Raised

Private Equity Round: Raised $120 million

In September 2021, the Egypt-based MNT-Halan raised $120 million in investment from major global and regional growth investors including:

  • Apis Growth Fund II
  • Development Partners International (DPI)
  • Lorax Capital Partner

Additionally, the company had also attracted venture capital backing from Middle East Venture Partners, Endeavor Catalyst, and DisruptTech.

Debt Financing Round: Raised $150 million

In June 2022, the startup closed a securitized bond issuance of approximately $150 million, as part of a $600 million program with Commercial International Bank (CIB).

Other investors that participated in the round included:

  • TAQA
  • Ofi
  • Abu Dhabi National Oil Company
  • Waha Capital

Future Prospects

Currently, MNT-Halan is looking at cross-border expansion, with plans to tap markets where there are large unbanked populations that need serving, according to CEO and co-founder Mounir Nakhla. He further added, the startup is looking at several options in Africa and elsewhere, for expansion.

Additionally, the firm could also look to add more to its service menu in Egypt in the short term including cards and supply chain financing, Nakhla said. 

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