Although BNPL is still at its infancy in Africa, the level of investment in this space suggests that this form of payment could be the next big thing. An example is a $6 million investment in Sympl, a five months old that operates a model similar to BNPL.
The seed round was led by Beco Capital while A15 and Global Ventures participated.
Founded by Mohamed El-Feky, Yasmine Henna, and Karim Tawfik, Sympl business model operates a model somewhat similar to BNPL. Unlike a BNPL, where customers are required to make a down payment, usually 25% of the total purchase, and the rest are paid in three installments. Sympl does something different.
To quote TechCrunch, "When customers check out from one of Sympl’s merchants, the company acknowledges the funds in the customers’ bank accounts and charges them an upfront fixed fee of 100 Egyptian pounds. The fee covers the future collection of repayments and remains the same irrespective of the purchase amount."
"Then Sympl offers customers the option to use a zero-interest pay later plan. The rest of the payments can be made between three to five installments."
“This is the saving that we do to the customer. So instead of spending all your money right now on a single transaction, you can walk out of the store having the product and having your money in your pocket while paying it on three to five equal payments. It can be on a monthly, bi-weekly or weekly basis.” CEO El-Feky
Since its launch in October, Sympl has onboarded up to 240 merchants with products in electronics, fashion, appliances, furniture, travel, healthcare, jewellery and education. The startup says it targets over 50 million debit and credit cardholders in the country and plans to reach 1,000 stores by mid next year.
Sympl plans to use the latest funding to scale its merchant network, build technical upgrades and enhancements, hire more talent and expand its footprint across Egypt to cover all 27 governorates in the country (it’s currently in two).
Egypt in focus
GDP: $363.069 billion in 2020 compared to $303.081 billion in 2019
Population: 102,334,403 in 2020 compared to 100,288,076 in 2019
GDP per capita: $3,547 in 2020 compared to $3,019 in 2019