The FinTech startup, which operates in Kuwait, UAE and Saudi Arabia, just closed its second investment round.
Kuwait-based startup Ajar Online has just closed an investment round for an undisclosed amount, led by Dubai-based venture firm BECO Capital. The FinTech startup is a cloud-base real estate service for rent collection and property management. The service allows tenants to pay their rent online via SMS and email in less than 60 seconds.
Setting off to expand across the region and upgrade their current services, the startup already counts with offices in Kuwait and representatives in Dubai and Saudi Arabia. “We aim to be the leading platform for property management and online payments in the real estate market, creating the tools to make the industry better and smarter, through latest technology and security measures,” says the company’s CEO, Shaheen AlKhudari.
This is the startup's second investment, having secured a first round from Sharq Ventures in late 2016. As the first rent collection platform in the MENA region, the startup claims a significant first-mover advantage, as they plan to strengthen their presence by scaling globally. “Ajar Online has merely begun to scratch the surface of digitising and advancing the rental industry; the opportunity in this space is tremendous. Shaheen and his team represent what we look for in teams; hard work, domain expertise and extremely passionate about their business, their industry and their region," says Yousef Hammad, Managing Partner at BECO Capital.
"The challenge at the start was due to customers in our region tending to be very traditional with their payment methods, but we are noticing our efforts put in place, are converting them to Fintech solutions," Shaheen admits. Having researched the real estate market to validate the idea in 2015, the entrepreneur concluded that both tenants and landlords were feeling the same pain, which stemmed from inadequate payment methods.
Seizing the opportunity, he lacunched the beta version in late 2015, with a full live cloud solution launched the following August. In October of the same, Ajar Online signed a non-exclusive partnership with Warba Bank to empower their solution, and by January 2016 they officially established the company. "I see a change due to mobilisation of technology, with internet being available everywhere, people are no longer tied to their offices. Today, landlords don't need to put in thousands of dollars for offline resources and hundreds of hours of manual office work. They can manage multiple properties, through platforms, in a simple, fast and convenient way," he tells Startup Scene.
Main image: founder Shaheen AlKhudari.
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