Dubai’s Tpay Mobile Acquires Payguru

Dubai-based mobile payments company Tpay has bought Payguru, a digital payment service provider based in Turkey, for an undisclosed sum as it looks to expand its geographical footprint.

Tpay, which is backed by Middle East technology fund A15 and Africa-focused investment firm Helios Investment Partners, has a presence in 24 countries and sends money through 54 mobile channels that are connected to over 580 million consumers, the company said.

“This transaction extends our footprint in the region … continues our diversification into new business lines and also significantly strengthens our value-added services proposition in the region,” said Sahar Salama, founder and chief executive of Tpay.

Tpay was launched in 2014 as the first open mobile payments platform in the Middle East and North Africa region. It is on an “accelerated growth trajectory” and the acquisition propels it towards “becoming the leading digital payment platform in MEA”, said Ms Salama.

“The regional and global FinTech sector is at an inflection point for growth, making this the perfect time to welcome Payguru into our fold,” she added.

Payguru, which was founded in 2015, currently has more than 1,300 merchants on its platform and has processed over 13 million transactions in the past 12 months, it said.

The company offers mobile payments, automated teller machine cash payments and bank transfer services in Turkey through its integration with three mobile network operators and eight banks in the country.

“We are proud to have built a successful and profitable business … which we have achieved through organic growth and no external investment,” said Payguru’s co-founder and chief executive Isik Uman.

The merger opens a “huge window of opportunity for the export of our products outside of our country, leveraging Tpay Mobile’s presence in MEA countries”, he added.

The financial technology industry is growing at a compound annual rate of 30 per cent in the Middle East, according to the Milken Institute Centre for Financial Markets.

By 2022, FinTech companies in the Middle East will have raised more than $2 billion (Dh7.34bn) in venture capital funding, up from just $80 million in 2017, the institute forecasts.

Globally, FinTech companies raised $135.7bn last year, which was 3.7 per cent below the $141bn record set a year earlier, according to KPMG's Pulse of FinTech survey.