UAE-based fintech startup Zywa has raised $3m in seed funding to offer banking services to Gen Z customers in the Middle East and North Africa.

The round was joined by Goodwater Capital, Dubai Future District Fund, Rebel Fund, Trampoline VC, and Zemu VC along with some affluent European family offices and angel investors.

Zywa’s seed round, which values it at over AED110m ($30m), comes close on the heels of its pre-seed round of $1m led by Y Combinator in February this year.

The proceeds will be used to create more products to meet the need of Gen Z customers and its expansion in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.  

The fintech is part of Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem Hub71 and offers a gamified community-based banking app and payment cards to customers aged between 11 and 25 years.

Zywa, which was founded in 2021, claims to have received more than 100,000 signups.

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Zywa co-founder and CTO Nuha Hashem was quoted by Khaleej Times as saying: “The seed round will help us create more product initiatives to give the best possible experience to our Gen Z users while building their financial literacy. We want them to experience banking in a cool way that sets a high standard for them in the future.

“This funding will also help us tailor the product to a new audience in my home country (Egypt) and the country where I grew up (Saudi Arabia). We are proud to have a product that is localised to the MENA region and that Gen Z can resonate with.”

“We are excited to back Zywa as we believe financial education needs to be revolutionised for teens in this changing economy. Giving exposure to kids early on about saving and personal finance fundamentals and done in an engaging way sets up the next generation for success,” Square Financial Services COO Samanth Ku and one of the angel investors who joined the round was quoted by the publication as saying.