YC-backed Egyptian fintech Thndr gears up for launch after securing brokerage license

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Egyptian fintech startup Thndr, a participant in the most recent Y Combinator accelerator, is gearing up for its formal launch after receiving the first new brokerage license granted in the country in over a decade.

Disrupt Africa reported earlier this month Kenyan retail-tech startup MarketForce was the only Sub-Saharan African company selected for the Y Combinator Summer 2020 batch, securing US$150,000 in funding and access to high-level support and mentorship.

That cohort also includes Thndr, a fintech startup co-founded by former Uber Egypt general manager Ahmad Hammouda. The startup has developed an investment platform that makes it easy to invest in stocks, bonds, and funds, completely commission free. Thndr claims to solve Egypt and the region’s outdated and time consuming processes when it comes to opening, funding and managing investment accounts.

The startup closed its pre-seed round last December, with investors including Y-Combinator, 4DX Ventures, Endure Capital, The Raba Partnership, and MSA Capital. It is now part of the Y Combinator S20 batch and is part of its demo day today (August 24).

Thndr’s first product is a mobile-first equities trading platform in Egypt. The startup has just acquired the necessary licensing from the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA), making it the first company to acquire a brokerage license in Egypt since 2008. 

“Our vision is to put wealth in the hands of everyday individuals. With the rise of technology, and the foresight of a very supportive Financial Regulatory Authority, we can make this vision come to life,” said Hammouda.

“Egypt is expected to be the seventh largest economy by 2030, and has more than 100 million people, most of which are young and are looking for a convenient and digital way to invest their money. That’s why we are excited to bring a new breed of young investors to the market.”

Co-founder Seif Amr said Thndr was looking to remove all barriers and friction that users face throughout their investment journey, whether it relates to account opening, associated costs, access to resources or ease of use. 

“We are starting with Egyptian equities, but we intend to quickly introduce alternative investment options to suit different risk/reward and involvement preferences,” he said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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