YAP, a digital banking startup based in the United Arab Emirates, is looking to raise $20m in funding, Arabian Business has reported.

The fintech is in talks with several investors both from the Middle East venture capital (VC) funds and global players. 

The proceeds will primarily be used by YAP to fund its expansion in the South Asian and African markets. 

Confirming the plans, YAP founder and group CEO Marwan Hachem told the publication: “Our goal is to raise another $20 million before completing our Series A round by the end of this year. We are talking to several local and international VC funds.”

If the talks succeed, the new investment will take YAP’s total funding in Series A to $61m. 

In July this year, YAP raised $41m in investment from Saudi Arabia’s Aljazira Capital, Abu Dawood Group, Astra Group and Audacia Capital.

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As per the report, investor circles said that the timing of the fundraising could be a cause of concern as global startup funding slows and investors grow more cautious. 

YAP offers spending analytics to consumers, money transfer services, and withdrawals with no minimum balance requirement.

The slowdown in funding was due to investors questioning whether business models are sustainable, Hachem said, adding that the investment is also tied to regulatory approval, which could provide a need for consolidation.

“However, businesses with robust models, great MVPs (minimum viable products) and with a well-versed go-to-market strategy will continue to gain capital,” Hachem noted. 

As part of the plans to grow business in Saudi Arabia, YAP has partnered with Bank AlJazira.  The fintech hopes to soft launch its operations in the Saudi Arabian market this month before it goes fully live in the first quarter of next year.