●MENA-focused fintech Lean Technologies raises $33 million in Series A round.
● Lean launched its platform and APIs to enable businesses to connect to their customers’
bank accounts to retrieve account data and initiate instant bank transfers.
● Sequoia Capital India will be leading the round.
● Founded in September 2019 and launched in February 2021, Lean has already
amassed dozens of leading fintech and enterprise Clients across the region.
● Lean, which has offices in Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Cairo and London, intends to use
these proceeds to grow its team and further expand across the region.
Saudi fintech Lean Technologies has raised a $33 million Series A round led by renowned
venture capital firm Sequoia Capital India, with participation from existing investors RAED
Ventures, Outliers, Shorooq, and JIMCO. Newcomers Liberty City Ventures, Human Capital,
and notable angels including Brex’s Henrique Dubugras, former GE CEO Jeff Immelt, and
Michael Ovitz also participated in the round.
Founded in September 2019 by former Stanford roommates Hisham Al-Falih and Aditya Sarkar, and ex-Silicon Valley technologist Ashu Gupta, Lean’s platform and APIs allows its clients to seamlessly integrate with their customer’s bank accounts to retrieve pertinent account information or initiate instant bank transfers.
The company launched its flagship Data and Payments APIs in February 2021, and has since amassed dozens of the region’s leading financial players as clients, connected to tens of thousands of customer accounts, and processed hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions.
The Lean APIs have unlocked a myriad of use cases and are currently being utilized by some of the region’s leading financial institutions across various verticals, including those in the remittances, cryptocurrency, and investment spaces. The company is well positioned to further support the region’s burgeoning industry, which is experiencing rapid growth with venture investments growing 163% year on year.
This sector is further buoyed by regulators' introduction of fintech sandboxes and forward thinking regulations across the region. With the recent announcement of Open Banking by the Saudi Central Bank, Lean aims to be the first Saudi aggregator to enable the booming sector within the Kingdom, which is undergoing its own economic transformation driven by the government’s ambitious Vision 2030 plan.
Strictly private and confidential (under embargo 20th January 2022) Hisham Al-Falih, Lean’s Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer said: “We started Lean with the aim of enabling the next generation of financial innovation in the Middle East, a mission deep-rooted in the hearts of our entire team. We have therefore sought to break down the barriers to entry to the region’s fintech ecosystem, unleashing a new wave of cutting edge financial solutions that will catalyze the lives of everyday people and businesses.
It was therefore critical for us to align with investors who shared our unwavering commitment to the Lean mission, and who would support us to turn our vision into a reality. That is why we’re so excited to be partnering with Amit and the broader Sequoia Capital India team, one of the world’s most renowned venture capital firms. We’re thrilled to be going on this journey with them and cannot wait to see what the future has in store.”
Amit Jain, MD, Sequoia India reaffirms: “Sequoia Capital India is thrilled to partner with Hisham, Aditya, Ashu, Mehdi and the Lean team. In a very short span of time, they have built a very robust tech platform, hired an exceptional team and have a growing list of some of the best customers in the MENAP region. Lean is leading a financial revolution with their open banking platform, and helping redefine financial services and products across the region. They are a visionary team, in the early innings of a very aspirational journey, and we look forward to the road ahead.”