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Riyadh-based B2B Fintech Startup Lean Raises $3.5 Million Seed Round

The roster of investors includes regional venture firms, and international seasoned angel investors.

Riyadh-based fintech startup, Lean, has closed a $3.5 million seed round led by Saudi corporate venture capital firm, RAED Ventures, with participation from other coveted angel investors and venture firms such as Shorooq Partners, Outliers VC, Global Ventures and Rocket Internet’s Global Founders Capital. 

Co-founded in 2019 by Hisham Al-Falih, Aditya Sarkar and Ashu Gupta, Lean provides fintech startups with seamless APIs to utilise in acquiring customer financial data and payment initiation capabilities made through third-party providers. The fintech startup provides a holistic platform for financial institutions to employ with full transparency and oversight, and integrates with their existing ecosystem. 

The interface streamlines the process of tracking transaction and commerce by allowing fintechs to integrate with a variety of financial institutions far and wide in the region through the Lean Universal API, a single platform that aggregates all the data from a multitude of sources and institutions.

The new capital will be focused on expanding Lean’s team to include world-class talent that can elevate the output in its stride to be a go-to interface that benefits both fintechs and customers. "At Lean, we go to great lengths to ensure that customers are well informed about their rights and privileges, as they ultimately are the beneficial owners of their own data and must make informed decisions on how to utilize it to their best advantage,” says  Co-Founder and CEO Hisham Al-Falih. “ Furthermore, we have taken each and every precaution to ensure that customer data is secure, private, and only shared with third parties explicitly authorized by the customer."

Lean is set to integrate and go live with a multitude of banks in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, with a milestone set to expand to the UAE, Kuwait and Egypt, with a larger aim to be fully operational in most of the MENA region by 2021. 

Investors have gravitated towards fintechs like moths to a flame in recent months due to the industry’s rapid growth in the region; a growth that recognises the innovation of the technology and the disruption of traditional financial services that was triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. So much so that the fintech industry accounts for the largest share of investment deals in H1 2020, according to a report by MAGNiTT

“As FinTech adoption has grown in the Middle East so have the needs of financial institutions who must now manage unprecedented customer connections across a multitude of FinTech apps,” Al-Falih adds. “Lean gives institutions an open finance platform that includes everything they need to manage the data connectivity customers demand.”




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