The raise: UAE-based BNPL provider Tabby secured $150 million in debt financing, which it said was the biggest credit facility ever secured by a Gulf fintech, per a press release.
Tabby shrugs downturn: Fears of a global economic slowdown have blunted BNPL heavyweights like Afterpay and Klarna in recent months. But Tabby says that the limited access to credit for consumers in the region makes it less vulnerable to the tumult affecting competitors in the US and Europe.
In Saudi Arabia, the region’s largest economy, less than 20% of the population has a credit card, compared with more than 70% in the US, per Tabby. It claimed that this helps make its BNPL products more relevant to consumers. In the first half of this year, its revenues have grown 10-fold, and it tripled its active retailer partners through tie-ins with H&M, Nike, and Swarovski.
What now? BNPL companies that can establish themselves in the Middle East stand to gain from a growing market.
Foreign players could explore building a presence in the region, which seems less sensitive to the BNPL market turmoil than Europe and the US.