Former Careem Pay CEO launches SimpliFi, a Cards-as-a-Service platform for the Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan. - MENA startups, innovation, and tech news

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Former Careem Pay CEO launches SimpliFi, a Cards-as-a-Service platform for the Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan.
Funding

Former Careem Pay CEO launches SimpliFi, a Cards-as-a-Service platform for the Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan.

SimpliFi has announced the launch of its Cards as a Service platform for the Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan.
The Dubai-based startup had previously been operating in stealth mode. It has also concluded a seed round led by Saudi-based Raed Ventures, with participation from Rally Cap Ventures and Riyad-based Sukna Ventures.

Angel investors Chris Adelsbach, Idris Bello, Osama AlRaee, and Abdulsalam Mohammed Al-Dosari, as well as current and former Facebook, Careem, Plaid, and Remitly executives, participated in the transaction that was finalised earlier this year.

SimpliFi,

founded in 2020 by Ali Sattar, formerly the Head of Careem Pay, aims to democratise card issuance in the region through its APIs and user-friendly portal. It allows any business, including a fintech, gig platform, SME, or corporate, to issue virtual or physical cards for various use cases almost instantly and manage the entire programme through SimpliFi’s online portal.

The fintech manages the entire end-to-end process, including managing partners such as banks, card schemes, processors, identity verification, and card fulfilment and delivery.

When Ali was working at Careem and they were looking to issue cards, he came up with the idea of SimpliFi (apparently for their captains to provide them with quick payouts).

He quickly realised that even a large technology company like Careem (with a lot of resources) would struggle to set up such a programme. Even launching cards in a single market was hard, so it would be impossible to expand the service to multiple markets due to the fragmented payments ecosystem in the region.

“Prepaid cards are highly versatile with a host of use cases allowing businesses to streamline operations, generate new revenue streams, and drive loyalty,” he said of SimpliFi.

Banks have had exclusive rights to issue cards until now. We are changing that by enabling any business to become a payments company and reap the benefits of financial ownership without the associated complexities and hassle. “The massive impact this can have on the region’s financial services ecosystem inspires us to get up every day,” Ali said in a statement.

He is also a founding limited partner at Rally Cap Ventures, which has invested in fintech in emerging markets.

Funding

Former Careem Pay CEO launches SimpliFi, a Cards-as-a-Service platform for the Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan.

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