UAE’s Flow48 secures $25m for expanding SME financial services


Flow48, a UAE-based fintech startup, recently announced a significant achievement in securing $25 million in pre-Series A funding.

This round includes a mix of equity and debt, attracting prominent investors such as Speedinvest, Daphni, 212, Blockchain Founders Fund, Unpopular Ventures, Endeavor Catalyst, and TLG. Notably, the funding round also saw participation from angel investors including Scott Sandell from NEA.

Flow48 stands out in the fintech sector with its innovative platform designed to address the unique challenges SMEs face in securing working capital financing. The platform is remarkable for its real-time functionality, integrating seamlessly with major ERP providers, payment gateways, and e-commerce platforms. By enriching its proprietary risk engine and leveraging data from various sources, Flow48 offers a more precise and efficient credit assessment process, redefining SME lending standards.

A key focus for Flow48 is its commitment to ESG principles, particularly in empowering underrepresented segments within the SME sector. The startup has made a significant impact by prioritising funding for SMEs owned by minorities and women, striving for inclusivity and diversity in the business landscape. Idriss Al Rifai, the founder, highlights this dedication, “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. What we offer can be vital for these small business owners. We are contributing to building a more equitable economic environment.”

Flow48 also engages with SMEs driving positive environmental impacts, such as those in the green energy sector or integrating sustainable practices into their business models. The startup’s diverse client base includes several women and minority migrant-led businesses.

The company’s expansion plans include venturing into South Africa, attracted by its robust SME lending market and advanced fintech ecosystem. This strategic move is not just geographical but also aims to integrate into thriving fintech ecosystems.

Reflecting on Flow48’s approach and expansion, Shabir Vasram from Daphni and Numan Numan, Founding Partner at 212, emphasised the transformative impact and innovative approach of Flow48 in emerging markets.

Additionally, Allen Taylor, Managing Partner at Endeavor Catalyst, shared his support, “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.”

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