On Thursday, Islamabad-headquartered startup, Dbank announced that the fintech startup has raised $17.6 million in a seed round, the largest in Pakistan, co-led by Sequoia Capital Southeast Asia, the recently unveiled $1 billion fund, and Kleiner Perkins. Brazil’s neobank Nubank, Askari Bank, and Rayn also participated in the seed round, the Pakistani startup said.
Fintech Startup ‘Dbank’ Will Use the Raised Seed Funding to Expand Financial Services
Moreover, Dbank is a Pakistani fintech startup that will attempt to expand the reach of financial services in a “transparent and friendly” manner in Pakistan, taking on the informal credit system that tends to exploit those in need with outrageous and unexpected interest rates, said Tania Aidrus, co-founder of Dbank. Johan Surani, VP at Sequoia Southeast Asia, said in a statement that Dbank will attempt to “democratize banking,” however the Pakistani fintech startup wishes to keep its roadmap under wraps, for now, stated Aidrus. “We want our users to be in control of their money and to make informed choices,” said Aidrus.
It is the Perfect Time to Launch a Venture Like Dbank
“The reason it is the perfect time to launch a venture like Dbank is that the key building blocks are now in place – Raast, the real-time payment system by State Bank of Pakistan supported by seamless digital identity through NADRA. We have seen the multiplier effect that digital public infrastructure can have on the private sector’s ability to help move economies from cash to digital,” stated the co-founder of Dbank, Khurram Jamali.
Both Airdus and Jamali are former Google employees and worked on payment rails for the tech giant. All this while, the duo kept a close eye on the Pakistani market and identified a core problem ‘user-centric banking’. As the State Bank of Pakistan released digital banking certificates and welcomed new players into the financial markets, the duo thought of it to be the perfect opportunity and took their leap of faith.