Local Platform Neem Raises $2.5 Million to Aid Unbanked Communities

Neem, a Pakistani embedded finance platform, has raised $2.5 million in early funding to assist the unbanked population in the country. The Karachi-based firm targets communities in a variety of industries, including agriculture, MSMEs, e-commerce, logistics, and healthcare, among others. It provides a platform for lending that its affiliates use to offer specialized lending solutions to consumers and MSMEs. Neem is also developing a Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform that will be live in December and allow partners to embed wallets and payments as well as offer financial products like insurance and savings that are tailored to the needs of certain communities.

Local Startup Neem Raises $2.5 Million to Aid Unbanked Communities

Former financial entrepreneurs, operators, and venture capitalists Nadeem Shaikh, Vladimira Briestenska, and Naeem Zamindar created the three-year-old Neem. In an interview, Mr. Shaikh said,

Most of the [existing] players are providing a B2C solution; we are a B2B2C solution. If you look at the embedded finance space, it is a $167 billion opportunity.

Shaikh stated that approximately 53 million Pakistanis are unbanked at present, citing data from the financial sector. Over time, the business intends to expand beyond Pakistan and assist underbanked communities in other emerging economies.

Hong Kong-based SparkLabs Fintech led the seed funding, which the business plans to use to build its 20-person team, launch the BaaS platform, and acquire licences. In addition to Cordoba Logistics and Ventures, Taarah Ventures, My Asia VC, Concept Vines, and Building Capital, Pakistani investment banking firm Arif Habib participated in the capital round. In addition, partners at Outrun Ventures and strategic angels such as the CSO of IT firm BPC, founder partner at Mentors Fund, and fintech veteran and former CEO of Seccl participated in the seed round. In a statement, managing partner of SparksLabs fintech said,

We have a strong conviction about Neem’s mission to enable financial wellness for underbanked communities, and have full confidence in the Neem leadership team to realise this vision amidst macro challenges across the globe.

Check out? Pakistan’s startups sector witnesses a significant drop in fundraising

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