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Sequoia SEA co-led Pakistani Dbank’s $17.6 M seed round

Sequoia Capital Southeast Asia and Kleiner Perkins jointly led a seed round to invest $17.6 million for the Pakistan-based fintech company Dbank. Sequoia has now made its first investment in Pakistan.

Dbank, which was established in 2021 and closed its seed round in March, is developing a digital banking system that is centered on the needs of the customer and is built on ethical banking with Islamic culture.

Although the business is now concentrated in Pakistan, it hopes to grow in other countries with a majority of Muslims.

110 million individuals, or 79 percent of Pakistan’s population, lack access to formal financial services, making it the third-largest unbanked country in the world, according to World Bank research.

The money from this round will be used for operating expenses, including staff costs and to fulfil the paid-up capital criteria to launch its bank.

Tania Aidrus and Khurram Jamali, who both held executive roles in Google’s payments division in Singapore, launched Dbank, which has its headquarters in Islamabad.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the nation’s central bank, created a new framework for digital banking licenses in January. This news of the firm’s funding follows. Digital full bank and digital retail bank licenses are the two new types of licenses that the SBP has created. Dbank has submitted an application for the latter and is awaiting approval.

The fintech sector in Pakistan, which received the second-highest amount of funding in the nation in 2021, has a lot of promise despite the severe challenges faced by entrepreneurs worldwide. Digital banking in Pakistan is still mainly undeveloped.

Players are now trying to open up shop in the nation in greater numbers. Although the SBP claims it would initially only issue five licenses, as of April 20, banks have submitted applications for a digital banking license.




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