ValU enters into an agreement with members of Alhokair family to sell a minority stake
By Edlyn Cardoza
valU, MENA’s leading Buy-Now, Pay-Later (BNPL) lifestyle-enabling FinTech platform, recently announced that Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair, Salman Abdulaziz Alhokair, and Abdul Majeed Abdulaziz Alhokair (“Alhokair Family”) have entered into an agreement to acquire a 4.99% stake in valU through a capital injection of USD 12.4 million, signifying a valuation of USD 247.4 million for the company.
Currently subject to relevant regulatory approvals and satisfaction of certain conditions precedent, the transaction marks Alhokair Family’s first investment in a BNPL platform in Egypt, underscoring valU’s strength in the market and marking a key steppingstone for the platform to create strategic regional partnerships.
The transaction comes on the heels of valU’s entry into the Saudi market last week through FAS Finance, a joint venture (JV) with FAS Labs, in which FAS Labs owns 65% while valU owns 35%. The launch of FAS Finance and the strategic partnership bring a lifestyle-enabling solution to Saudi shoppers, with valU offering greater affordability and value for customers, all available through one digital platform.
“We are thrilled to be further growing our partnership with the Alhokair Family. The transaction puts valU, the largest BNPL provider in Egypt, at a USD 247.4 million valuation, and is a testament to valU’s visible success story, business model, and potential for growth in Egypt and on a regional level,” said Karim Awad, Group CEO of EFG Hermes Holding.
“We are proud to have grown a strong brand like valU that, since late 2017, has not only established itself as the leading BNPL platform but has also attracted the interest of the world’s largest retailer, Amazon, one of the most important brands globally, and now one of the region’s most prominent retail players, Alhokair,” concluded Awad.
valU is a fast-growing, innovative FinTech platform in the MENA region that serves more than 574,000 app clients in Egypt, the Arab world’s largest consumer market. In its home country, valU currently boasts over 5,000 points of sale locations catering to hundreds of thousands of customers transacting in home furnishings, electronics, home appliances, fashion, auto spare parts, healthcare, education, and travel, among a wide array of other services. With its entry into the Saudi market, valU will be present across Alhokair’s expansive retail network of more than 1,000 stores and online on the VogaCloset and mono-brand websites, including 14 in Saudi Arabia. It will also extend to other vendors, retail networks, and merchants to include and cover the entire Saudi market.
Alhokair Family’s agreement to acquire a stake in valU signals investors’ interest in the NBFI space in Egypt and puts it on the map as a leading innovator and exporter of financial inclusion solutions at a time when inflationary pressures are on the rise in the country and the rest of the region.
“We are extremely proud of the fact that Alhokair Family is now a shareholder in valU. Preceded by the announcement of valU’s entry into KSA last week—our first new-market entry since we began operations out of Cairo 5 years ago —the acquisition agreement cements our solid partnership with Alhokair, a retail powerhouse and a perfect partner on our journey to expand across the region,” said Walid Hassouna, CEO of valU.
“valU has definitely filled a financing gap in the Egyptian market and supported financial inclusion. The business model that we created strives to have a positive daily impact on hundreds of thousands of consumers, retailers, and service providers across the country,” concluded Hassouna.
Last month, EFG Hermes Holding and Amazon entered into an option agreement whereby Amazon agreed to acquire USD 10 million in EFG Hermes GDRs with the option to replace that investment into valU at a future date, translating into a stake of 4.255% of the issued share capital of valU.
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