Saudi Arabia’s fintech Tamara secures $150 mln facility from Goldman Sachs

Saudi financial technology company Tamara secured a $150 million debt facility from Goldman Sachs Group Inc, defying a funding slowdown in the global venture capital sector.

Founded less than three years ago, Tamara has emerged as one of the Gulf region’s leading “buy now, pay later companies,” having now raised $366 million in debt and equity. It counts a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund and, one of Europe’s most valuable startups, among its investors.

Tamara will use Goldman’s $150 million “receivables warehouse facility — which it says is a first in the Middle East — to fund expansion across product lines in shopping, payments and banking,” according to a statement on Thursday.

The Riyadh-based startup has a customer base of 6 million and more than 350 employees spread across offices in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Germany and Vietnam.

Tamara facilitates payments for thousands of merchants, including brands like IKEA and H&M. It continues to see significant potential for growth in the region, where credit card usage lags more mature markets.

Regionally, the firm competes with the likes of Dubai-based Tabby — which has also attracted significant foreign capital, including from investors such Sequoia Capital India. A $58 million funding round earlier this year valued the startup at almost $700 million.

Tamara’s valuation has not been disclosed.

The Goldman facility comes at a time when startups around the world are battling headwinds including rising interest rates.

The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank sent further shock-waves through the sector.

“The fintech sector is undergoing a rapid transformation and has received significant global investment in recent years,” said Abdulmajeed Alsukhan, Tamara’s chief executive and co-founder.

“The GCC, especially Saudi Arabia, continues to exhibit strong growth despite the global macroeconomic slowdown,” he said.

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