Tabby becomes first Gulf unicorn

Tabby, a shopping and financial services app, has achieved unicorn status with a valuation of $1.5 billion following a successful Series D funding round that raised $200 million. This milestone solidifies Tabby’s position as the first fintech startup unicorn in the Gulf region, underscoring its rapid growth and significance in the market.

Tabby’s success can be attributed to its innovative approach to reshaping the way people shop and manage their finances. The app, with over 10 million users, empowers customers to control their spending and maximise their financial management. It allows users to split purchases into four interest-free payments, both online and in physical stores, offering a Shariah-compliant financial solution.

One of Tabby’s key strengths lies in its partnerships with over 30,000 global brands and small businesses, including major players like SHEIN, Amazon, Adidas, IKEA, H&M, Samsung, and noon. Through these partnerships, businesses can accelerate their growth and build customer loyalty by offering flexible payment options both online and offline.

Tabby’s strategic expansion in the Gulf region, particularly in Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Kuwait, addresses the high demand for accessible credit options in areas with limited credit card penetration. Unlike some Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) providers in the United States and Europe that operate at a loss, Tabby has achieved profitability in the GCC region. This profitability is supported by strict regulations and a market where consumers are not overextended with credit, making BNPL services a vital source of credit for many.

Hosam Arab, the founder and CEO of Tabby, highlighted the company’s substantial growth and profitability over the past year. He emphasised that Tabby’s unique market positioning caters to two distinct customer segments: regions with low credit card penetration and customers who find Tabby’s tokenised payment method convenient. This approach has enabled Tabby to maintain strong payment performance and address concerns related to impulsive spending and unsustainable debt associated with BNPL services.

Tabby’s Series D funding round was led by prominent investors, including Sequoia Capital India, STV, PayPal Ventures, Mubadala Investment Capital, Arbor Ventures, Endeavour Catalyst, Wellington Management, and Bluepool Capital. This influx of capital positions Tabby for future growth and potentially signals that an initial public offering (IPO) may be on the horizon.

Tabby’s mission is to revolutionise the way people shop, earn, and save, with a focus on providing accessible and transparent financial solutions. Its unicorn status highlights its pivotal role in shaping the future of fintech in the Gulf region, empowering millions to achieve financial freedom.

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