Souq.com Sells Online Payment Arm Cashu
The regional e-commerce site Souq.com has sold Cashu for an undisclosed amount to Cashu’s General Manager Thaer Suleiman, and the Dubai-based investment firm Genero Capital. Tamer Bazzari, CEO of Genero Capital, said: “This is the first ‘management buyout’ deal in MENA supported by a financial sponsor and should encourage more entrepreneurs to consider such a structure.” Cashu was founded in 2003 by the ecommerce site Maktoob, which was later bought by Yahoo!. The company is a Mena-focused online payment business operating in Arabic and English. The company’s customizable in-house solutions are considered an important conversion tool for e-commerce. “With Cashu’s 12 years of experience in MENA, we understand how to build products and offer services that best suit the buying behaviors of the end users residing in the Arabic speaking markets,” he said. Suleiman, who joined Cashu in 2010, said their plans are consistent with most of the region’s Central Banks’ visions of developing a cashless society. This is the second fintech addition to Genero’s portfolio, following the acquisition of the mobile payment business Bolero earlier. According to The National this acquisition will be followed by up to three deals in 2016. In 2015, e-commerce transactions in the MEA made up close to 50% of total transactions, and the sector has generated a lot of interest by big players such as Payfort, who acquired the Uae-based White Payments last year, and Telr, who merged with Innovate Payments in 2014 and also secured an investment from Hatcher (Singapore) and IMENA. Network International, a leading payment solutions provider in the region also signed an agreement with Quisk Middle East to deploy a cashless, cardless, and mobile-free payment method in the UAE.