Zbooni has built up its merchant partner base and added new features in the last 12 months. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Zbooni, the small business focussed payments enabler, has added $5 million to its kitty in a Series A round, with a London-based fund leading the way. The company now plans to make more hires at its UAE office and in Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

Digital startups in the UAE have been picking a steady stream of angel investors and those who are coming in at more mature phases.

Full suite

Launched in 2017, Zbooni started out as a chat commerce venture enabling payments via WhatsApp. It has spent the past 12 months diversifying its product line to provide business support and enablement tools. This has helped increase the number of merchants using it, "while also increasing retention of merchants across markets".

Zbooni CEO Ramy Assaf said: “While we wish to keep the investor undisclosed, their trackrecord speaks for itself, they have previously invested in some of the most successful emerging market growth stories - operating a fund of well over $1 billion in assets under management."

More thanr $1 billion was invested into MENA-based startups in 2020, according to MAGNiTT’s 2021 Emerging Venture Markets Report. This is a 13 per cent increase on 2019.