Karachi-based startup, Neem, is set to transform Pakistan’s financial landscape with a groundbreaking partnership. DNI Group, a renowned firm from South Africa, has made a significant investment of $1 million into Neem, aiming to drive innovation, catalyze growth, and promote embedded finance in the country.
Neem’s co-founder, Vladimira Briestenska, stated that the funds will be used to enhance Neem’s Banking-as-a-Service technology and platform. Additionally, the investment will support the recruitment of skilled individuals in key areas such as product development, partnerships, compliance, and product marketing. Neem remains committed to focusing on Pakistan during its next phase of expansion.
Waqas Ghani Kukaswadia, an ICT analyst at JS Global, highlighted the potential for growth in Pakistan’s financial sector, noting that the country has one of the lowest financial services penetration rates in the region despite being the fifth most populous country. Neem, headquartered in Karachi, aims to serve over 134 million underbanked consumers and 2.5 million micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises in Pakistan. Notably, Neem takes pride in being the first financial services firm in the country to issue sustainable and environmentally friendly debit cards.
The collaboration between Neem and DNI Group signifies a significant advancement for the embedded finance industry, which integrates financial services into nonfinancial businesses’ infrastructures, reducing reliance on traditional financial institutions. Despite global circumstances, Neem remains optimistic about the expanding digital ecosystem in Pakistan and its potential impact beyond the country’s borders.
Kapeel Kumar, a startup investment specialist, emphasized the benefits of this partnership for Pakistan’s fintech space, including raising the profile of Pakistani fintech companies globally, providing access to DNI Group’s network of partners and investors, and accelerating the development of embedded finance solutions.
Ross Venter, CEO of DNI’s technology arm Digital Ecosystems, expressed excitement about partnering with Neem, praising their high-quality team and operations within a vibrant and growing economy. The alignment of Neem’s objective of providing financial wellness with DNI’s goals of empowering individuals and enhancing financial and digital inclusion was highlighted. DNI aims to expedite the development, exchange, and commercialization of their respective technologies for the benefit of consumers worldwide through this investment.
Neem’s latest investment from DNI Group comes at a time when startup funding in Pakistan has been declining, with no deals being finalized in April for the first time in three years.