YC-backed Zywa, a Neobank for Gen Z, raises $3M to expand in MENA

based in dubai Ziva, Neobank, a Gen Z, plans to spur its development in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and expand its footprint in Saudi Arabia and Egypt after raising $3 million in seed funding at a $30 million (110 million AED) valuation. Planning to start expansion. The new funding follows the $1 million pre-seed support it received in February of this year.

Goodwater Capital, Dubai Future District Fund, Rebel Fund, Trampoline Venture Partners, Zemu VC, several leading European family offices, and strategic angel investors participated in the latest round.


Ziva was founded by Alok Kumar (CEO) and Nuha Hashem (CTO) in 2021, inspired by his life experiences in the Bay Area, where he primarily used cash or his parent’s card to make payments. He built Ziva as a social banking app and prepaid card to make it possible for Gen Zs (between the ages of 11-25) to receive, manage and pay money.

The app also brings convenience for parents as it enables them to send money to their children and monitor their spending and saving habits.

“Gen Zs in the UAE spend around AED 5B+ every year, and still rely on cash or their parents’ cards, despite having options such as supplementary cards issued by their parents’ banks. While these options provide access to digital payments, they are not natively designed for Gen Z, and this is where we add value,” Kumar said in a statement.


“We are Gen Z building for Gen Z, and we aim to grow our product as they grow, to be the only financial services platform they will ever need… Seed Fund us with product, development and strategic The partnership will help to focus our efforts in the UAE and Egypt markets, while preparing us to launch in Saudi Arabia in early 2023,” Kumar said.


YC-Backed Zywa, a Neobank for Gen Z, Raises $3M to Expand in the Middle East and North Africa


Parents also use the app to send money to their kids and keep an eye on their spending and saving habits. image creditzyva

Strategic partnerships Zyva is exploring include working with schools to host workshops and hackathons to help it reach its target customers. It also plans to partner with teen-led businesses to enable them to sell on the app, in addition to discount partnerships with popular brands such as Gen Z.

Zayva also plans to introduce a social element to its app, so that its users can share photos or videos of their purchases, and react to their friends’ purchases across various feeds.


As a strategy to encourage fintech users to start earning early, community-based value-added services like a platform within the app to enable users to apply for internships at Ziva and partner startups adding up. This is in addition to simplifying finances by rewarding those who save, budget and invest their money.

“Our reward systems “Gems (Zyva Gems) and Zions (Zyva Coins)” reward users for healthy financial habits and are currently used as a loyalty mechanism. ), we will give tokens to “Gems & Zions”, which can be used for peer-to-peer transfers, to purchase items at your favorite stores and to enter into direct agreements with merchants tokens, eliminate the participation of the scheme through a closed-loop system, thus adding additional revenue streams for us,” Hashem told Meczyki.

Zywa generates card interchange revenue and through merchant or brand partnerships.

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