A Saudi-based startup “Tamara” raises $110 million for its ‘buy now pay later’

Checkout.com leads $110m round for Saudi fintech Tamara. [Photo: Tamara]

Checkout is leading a $110 million funding round for Saudi Arabia-based startup Tamara in one of the Middle East’s largest-ever startup investments.

Proceeds of the Series A capital raise, which includes both equity and debt, will be used to dund Tamara’s expansion across GCC markets by the end of this year and then the rest of the Middle East, according to a company statement issued on Thursday.

Tamara allows customers to purchase items online without initially paying for them. Instead, at the checkout screen the customer can choose to pay for the item 30 days later, or in three installments with no additional fees.

Founded in 2020, by entrepreneur Abdulmajeed Alsukhan and his partners Turki Bin Zarah and Abdulmohsen Albabtain, Tamara was the first BNPL firm to be enrolled in the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA)’s Sandbox program.

Since then, it closed a round of $6 million in seed funding in January 2021 which was also considered the largest seed round in Saudi Arabia, five months after its official launch in September 2020.

The startup has quickly established itself as a market-leader in Saudi and successfully landed some of the most popular brands in Saudi, including SACO, Whites, Nejree and Nice One.

The company also expanded its services to UAE with prominent partners like Namshi and Floward. Tamara was also able to launch its mobile consumer app along with its in-store service with multiple local partners.

Abdulmajeed Alsukhan, Tamara’s co-founder and CEO, said: “Tamara was born to make a change.The region and the world need payment solutions that are transparent and customer-oriented. At Tamara, we offer our customers an alternative to credit cards and Cash on Delivery (COD), which enhances their shopping experience.”

“This transaction is only the beginning of our journey, and a great sign that we are on the right track. We are proud to have the trust of such an investor and we will continue expanding our products to transform the payments industry in the region.”

Sebastian Reis, executive vice president at Checkout.com, said: “As the partner of choice for the region’s leading eCommerce merchants, Checkout.com is always on the lookout for ways to enhance the ecosystem. Tamara has rapidly proven itself to be a natural leader in the BNPL space.”

“Our investment in Tamara will help the team realize their vision and expand rapidly, driving greater conversions for retailers and offer more flexibility for consumers.”

Visa estimates that the eCommerce sector in the MENA region will be valued at $49 billion by as soon as 2022.

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