Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) is speedily gaining adoption in some parts of Africa due to the rise of eCommerce startups in the region. The COVID-19 pandemic played a critical role in this matrix as the global lockdowns compelled consumers to shop online via eCommerce platforms. 

Before October 2021, startups including Fawry, valU by EFG Hermes, Shahry, and Valeo dominated Egypt’s BNPL market. But with a soft launch in October and a recent $6 million seed funding, Sympl, an Egypt-based eCommerce/ BNPL startup, is moving to expand its offerings in the country. 

Rather than the typical BNPL model operated by most of its competitors, the Egyptian startup operates a ‘save your money, pay later’ model. “Rather than promoting purchasing, it gives customers more choices at the checkout and promotes customer saving, flexible cash flow management, and a better matching of income and expenditure, without compromising their lifestyle,” the company told TechCrunch.

The five-month-old tech startup was founded by Yasmine Henna (COO), Mohamed El-Feky (CEO) and Karim Tawfik (CTO), through an exclusive partnership with Tradeline, a leading Apple retailer, on the release of the new iPhone 13. When it launched, the company raised an undisclosed seed fund from A15, a Cairo-based Venture Capitalist. Its latest seed round was led by BECO Capital, a Dubai-based Venture Capital with participation from A15 and Global Ventures.

So far, the startup has over 240 registered merchants on its platforms and aims to increase the figure to 1000 merchants by mid-2022. The new seed fund will help Sympl accelerate its merchant network to serve multiple product and service categories with online and in-store merchants and increase its products offerings in the Egyptian market. 

Sympl further hinted at plans to expand to the middle east as soon as it conducts its next funding round. “It is one of the most vibrant and populous markets and has similar demographics and consumer behaviour. So I think this would be our first regional step out of Egypt,” said Mohamed El-Feky, Sympl’s co-founder and CEO.

According to GlobalData’s thematic research, the global BNPL industry is expected to be worth $166 billion by 2023. Meanwhile, BNPL Gross Merchandise Value in Egypt is expected to increase from $ 79.3 million in 2020 to reach $ 1.91 billion by 2028. 

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