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Pakistani startup ABHI plans expansion into UAE market

By Our Correspondent
December 21, 2022

KARACHI: Pakistani financial platform, ABHI, is seeking to expand to United Arab Emirates (UAE) to take on the country’s fintech market, its top official said.

Omair Ansari, CEO of ABHI, told The News in an interview that the company, which assists workers in withdrawing their earned income during times of need without requesting salary advances or personal loans, has plans to expand to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and UAE.

“UAE is our first market as the country is empowering new promising startups with incredible talents. We have been selected by Hub71 and we plan to bank on this opportunity and make the most of it,” Ansari said.

Hub71 is Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem that enables founders to build globally enduring homegrown tech companies in any sector by providing access to global markets, a capital ecosystem, a global network of partners, and a vibrant community. “The team and I have attended multiple fintech events in the past few months where we networked with numerous companies that are interested in Earned Wage Access (EWA).

It’s heartwarming to see that many companies in the UAE are eager to work with us and we are more than excited to financially empower their employees,” he added.

Ansari expects the year 2023 to be an incredible year for ABHI as it gears up for expansion in other countries.

The company raised funds of $19 million in three stages in less than two years from investors in the USA and UAE. It has been around 8 months since this startup got its Series ‘A’ funding.

According to Invest2Innovate, a Pakistani consulting company, 83 companies raised $350 million in 2021 and another $136.6 million in the first three months of 2022 in Pakistan.

“At ABHI, we are helping employees and employers simplify their cash flows. With EWA, employees can withdraw their earned salaries during times of need without asking for salary advances or personal loans,” he said.

“Simultaneously, we offer payroll financing and invoice factoring solutions to businesses so they can continue their operations without any cash flow hindrances. We also have AbhiPay, our other product, which is a payment gateway for e-commerce merchants where they can receive payments instantly so they don’t need to wait for 3 working days for their settlements.”

What started as an instant payment product, has now transformed into a financial ecosystem, where money moves freely from businesses to individuals and back. For our economy to grow, money must move quickly from one hand to another and we are proud to facilitate that, according to Ansari.

“With thousands of salaried workers from 350+ companies including Gul Ahmed, Artistic Milliners, Cnergyico, United King, TPL Corp and more using our EWA facilities, we’re proud to serve a working class that has been neglected for far too long,” he said.

In these tough economic times, it is not easy to grow at scale, but this startup is making considerable progress. “We only hire when we need to. We only add new teams when required. We add product features only when there’s enough demand,” he said, and added “we are honest and transparent with our investors, employees, clients, and customers, which builds their trust and confidence in us that ABHI will spearhead through any obstacle and move forward”.

Fintech startups have a huge responsibility when it comes to financial awareness, inclusion, and empowerment, he noted.