valU, an Egyptian Buy-Now, Pay-Later (BNPL) fintech startup, has acquired 100% of Paynas, a full-fledged employee management and benefits company that provides financial services to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME).

The acquisition builds on valU’s mission to offer the wider society access to seamless financial solutions that facilitate their day-to-day activities and enhance their lifestyle; and reinforces Paynas’s mission to be MENA’s leading financial wellness and benefits platform, by offering access and convenience beyond employment.

Joining forces with Paynas will act as a gateway for valU to reach micro, small and medium businesses that are considered to be the backbone of the economy, with the goal to unlock various opportunities to both employers and employees.

Paynas offers a multitude of employee management and payment services to MSMEs, including a cloud-based platform to manage time & attendance and payroll, financial products such as payroll cards and affordable health insurance, and financial wellness products such as earned wage pay-outs and salary advances.

By combining Paynas’s service offering with valU’s BNPL plans covering healthcare, education, home appliances, furniture, and travel, among others, valU is delivering on its vision of becoming a holistic financing powerhouse catering with progressive and convenient solutions to every aspect of people’s daily lives.

valU will now harness a powerful ecosystem that constitutes compelling B2B partnerships, multiple acquisition channels, and a multi-product platform that will maximize returns through cross-selling synergies and low customer acquisition costs for both players.

The partnership opens wide doors for valU’s BNPL solutions by tapping into Paynas’s roster of MSME clients and employees, integrating them into valU’s client base, while augmenting Paynas’s offering with a comprehensive range of financing products. Moreover, digitizing the datasets of Paynas’s users will better position valU to offer them more cost-effective BNPL products by improving its loan disbursement cycles and credit scoring systems.

Walid Hassouna, CEO of valU said: “Paynas is a strategic fit for us, and the combination of our two companies will drive significant value for our shareholders and customers by delivering a 360° financial and lifestyle enabling solution, with the objective of addressing every aspect of people’s life and the goal of improving their overall quality of living. 

“That, and the addition of exceptional talent to our team, firmly positions us as a leading fintech platform in the region. Since its inception, our most important asset has been our people, and we targeted a company that puts people at the heart of everything they do. We are very excited and look forward to seeing new, big ideas come to life under the valU brand that can drive tech products and bring new conveniences to our customers while efficiently rolling out cross-border initiatives in the region.”

valU will leverage Paynas’s digital and tech prowess to become the go-to fintech platform. Being the first startup in Egypt with an Agent Banking License, Paynas integrates small and medium businesses into the financial system by digitizing their wage payments via Paynas’s payroll cards — issued in partnership with Banque Misr and powered by Visa — which, in tandem with the Paynas app, allows employees to improve their financial planning and wellness and contributes to a cashless economy.

By combining valU’s roster of installment programs with the Paynas payroll card, the acquisition offers customers a seamless shopping experience and is a stepping stone towards their further integration into Egypt’s digital economy.

Mohamed Mounir, CEO of Paynas said: “Paynas has built a leading brand and has been playing a pivotal role in fostering the financial inclusion of micro, small, and medium businesses and the unbanked in Egypt. With both companies driven to have a social and economic impact, we’re looking forward to making more meaningful changes in people’s lives by allowing them to have more access to finance and bringing effective financial solutions to their doorstep. This acquisition is proof positive of the success we’ve achieved thus far, the success we can in large part attribute to the support of our investors who believed in our vision.”

This is the second investment valU carries out this year, following its investment of a 35% share into FAS Finance, the consumer finance arm of Saudi Arabia’s FAS Labs, which allowed valU to expand geographically and enter the Saudi market while providing consumer finance solutions through FAS. During the same month, the company announced selling a 4.99% stake to members of the Alhokair family, marking a key stepping stone for the platform to create strategic regional partnerships.

Musa Suleiman
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