In a landmark move, Pakistan’s multinational bank, Habib Bank Limited (HBL) invested in the Digital Fintech Startup – Finja. HBL’s participation by investing Rs. 176 Million (USD 1.15 Million) in the last tranche of Finja’s Rs. 1.56 billion (USD10.15 Million) Series A1 round has helped them score a position in the global list of investors that have invested in Finja. The list includes some leading investors from around the globe such as BeeNext, Vostok Emerging Finance, Quona Capital, and ICU Ventures.
The investment will help HBL fulfill two of the bank’s strategic priorities:
i. Making investments into Digital Financial Inclusion
ii. Investing in Development Finance companies
Since after the breakout of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, Finja has increased its lending portfolio by almost 550%. They have disbursed more than 50, 000 digital loans to MSMEs. Unfortunately, small businesses in Pakistan have not been able to acquire credit that would have helped them grow.
“We are elated to have HBL participate in this funding round. Our ground-breaking success in digitally scoring undocumented small businesses has resulted in a 64% month-on-month portfolio growth for us since the outbreak of the pandemic earlier this year. Undoubtedly, HBL’s financial clout, massive network, and progressive leadership will help us elevate the country’s most important segment, the SMEs,” said Qasif Shahid, CEO and Co-Founder Finja.
Monis Rahman, Chairman, and Co-Founder Finja further added:
“These loans are critical for Pakistan’s economic growth. Our productive loans result in a 40% increase in SME revenue with less than a 1% default rate”
“We are delighted to be investing in FINJA. Pakistan’s fintech landscape has immense opportunities. At HBL we believe that by making this investment we are not only developing the Startup ecosystem, but it will also pave the way for Pakistan to play a bigger role in the fintech space globally. SME lending is the future and therefore we are investing in Finja which enjoys a first-mover advantage over the market in digitally lending to SMEs in this country.” added Muhammad Aurangzeb, President & CEO – HBL