UAE teen focussed fintech Zywa drew investors such as Dubai Future District Fund and Goodwater Capital. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: Zywa, a fintech startup focusing on teens, has announced a seed funding of $3 million. The company, a part of Abu Dhabi’s tech ecosystem Hub71, offers a prepaid card for teenagers and an app to manage and save money.

Investors who participated in the round include Goodwater Capital, Dubai Future District Fund, Rebel Fund, Trampoline VC, Zemu VC, and some prominent European family offices, as well as strategic angel investors, said the company in a statement. The funding shortly followed the company’s pre-seed round of $1 million led by Y Combinator in February 2022. The latest round brings Zywa at a latest valuation that exceeds Dh110 million.

“The seed fund will help us focus on product, growth, and strategic partnerships to accelerate our efforts in the UAE and Egypt markets, while prepping us to launch in Saudi Arabia by early 2023,” said Alok Kumar, co-founder and CEO of Zywa. “Gen Zs in the UAE spend about Dh5 billion+ every year and still rely on cash or their parents’ cards despite having options like supplementary cards issued by their parents’ banks.”

Founded in 2021 by Kumar and Nuha Hashem, who were born and raised in Saudi Arabia, Zywa is a gamified community-based banking app and payment card to Gen Z between 11 and 25 years.

In just 4 months of the pre-seed round, Zywa received 100,000 plus signups. Gamification, community events, rewards and referrals contributed to the company’s rapid growth, in addition to integrating with more than 1,000 brands tailored exclusively for Gen Z.

“We want them to experience banking in a cool way that sets a high standard for them in the future,” said Nuha, CTO of Zywa. “We are proud to have a product that is localized to the MENA region and that Gen Z can resonate with.”