Fintech: Oraan, Pakistan’s First Women-Led, Women-First Fintech Startup, Raises $3M
Oraan’s seed funding is the largest closed by a local women-founded and led startup in Pakistan.
Oraan, which is on a mission to make money simple for everyone, especially women, announced the raise of a $3 million seed round co-led by Zayn Capital and Wavemaker Partners, with participation from Resolution Ventures, i2i Ventures, Hustle Fund, Haitou Global and Plug and Play.
With earlier investments by Tharros, Zayn Capital, an angel syndicate led by Google executives, and Graph Ventures, Oraaan’s total funding till date is over $4 million. (PT Profit)
Former investment banker Halima Iqbal and design strategist Farwah Tapal founded Oraan in 2018 after they realized how difficult it was for Pakistani women to obtain financial services.
While contemplating and designing products and services around credit, insurance, and savings, the two founders decided to focus on digitally reinventing Pakistan’s “committees” that serve as local vehicles for group saving and credit.
Formally known as Rotating Saving and Credit Associations (‘ROSCAs’), committees are used by over 41% of Pakistanis, and constitute about $5 billion of money in circulation.
Oraan has digitized the ROSCA process and savers can sign up for a committee of their choice online and unhindered by geographical or social limitations.
The women-led startup claims it now has over 10,000 savers across 170 Pakistani cities. 84% of these savers are women.
Financial and gender inclusion
Demand for Oraan’s solution is said to be growing at 28% month-on-month.
“Oraan was founded when we realised that the large majority of the Pakistani population struggles to access financial services simply because they are not designed for them,” said Iqbal. “While there is a demand among women for credit, insurance and savings services, they are unable to approach financial institutions due to mistrust, complexity of products and challenges around mobility.”
According to Oraan, about 5% of the global unbanked female population resides in Pakistan.
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