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Tarabut Gateway raises $12M pre-Series A to expand Middle East + Africa Open Banking

Tarabut Gateway, a Dubai-headquartered open banking platform, announced raising a $12 million pre-Series A led by Tiger Global Management, according to a press release.

The company says it will use the investment to grow its technology stack and leadership teams, and continue expanding its Open Banking platform across the Middle East, specifically Saudi Arabia and North Africa (MENA). Tarabut has now raised $25 million in the past eight months, including a $13 million seed round led by Target Global in February.

“We want to create the underlying infrastructure for the next level of financial services in this region and our aspiration is to build a global company from the Middle East,” Tarabut Gateway founder and CEO Abdulla Almoayed told Bloomberg.

This investment is the most recent in a series of global Open Banking investments by Tiger Global, with the large venture capital firm recently investing $130 million in the UK’s Truelayer and $15 million in Africa’s Mono. It also invested in India’s Open, a neobanking and open banking platform, during its $30 million Series B in 2019.

Tarabut Gateway has a significant jumpstart in the region, as the first licensed Account Information Service Provider (AISP) and Payment Initiation Service Provider (PISP) in the MENA region. These licenses mean the company is authorized to congregate and display payment account information and also issue payment instruments and initiate online and mobile payments to recipients directly from a payer’s bank account.

While this is a rare investment in the MENA region for Tiger Global, the global venture fund’s participation makes sense considering Tarabut’s access to open banking licensing. The fund also included participation from the Dubai International Fintech Fund, the official Investment Vehicle of Dubai’s International Financial Centre (DIFC), according to Bloomberg.

“The MENA region is a complex web of countries and regulations. This makes it a challenging area to serve with any single overarching financial product whilst remaining compliant in a highly developed landscape with many differing markets,” Almoayed stated in the release.

“I’m glad to say this round is living proof that Tarabut Gateway is successfully pioneering in developing a cutting-edge solution for banks and fintechs in the region,” he said.

In other recent fintech news, Bank of America is reinforcing its fraud prevention toolkit with its newest Account Validation product. Checkbook also raised a $10 million Series A to help businesses do away with paper checking.

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