SimpliFi today announced the official launch of its Cards as a Service platform for the Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan. The startup operated in stealth mode until the appropriate time came to launch its services. Additionally, Simplifi had closed a seed round led by Raed Ventures in Saudi Arabia, with participation from Rally Cap Ventures and Riyadh-based Sukna Ventures. This transaction also included angel investors and former and current executives from companies such as Facebook, Careem, and Plaid.
Ali Sattar founded the startup in 2020 after working at Careem as the Head of Careem Pay. SimpliFi’s mission is to democratize card issuance in the region by leveraging the startup’s APIs and simple-to-use portal. This enables any type of business to issue virtual or physical cards. Additionally, technology businesses with engineering teams can leverage the aforementioned APIs to rapidly develop and launch products. While the fintech component enables management of the entire end-to-end process, from partnering with banks and card schemes to identity verification and card fulfillment and delivery.
SimpliFi, the company states, “in addition to providing a purpose-built technology stack, manages day-to-day card operations and compliance functions, allowing businesses to focus on their core competencies while leveraging SimpliFi’s capabilities and scale.”
Ali stated the following about the difficulty of issuing cards and bringing about change: “Prepaid cards are extremely versatile, with a plethora of use cases that enable businesses to streamline operations, generate new revenue streams, and increase loyalty. Until now, banks have been the sole issuers of cards. We’re changing that by enabling any business to become a payments company and reap the benefits of financial ownership without the associated complexities and hassle. The massive impact this could have on the region’s financial services ecosystem motivates us to get up every day.”
Wael Nafee, the founder of Raed Ventures, previously worked with Ali at Careem, where he served as VP of Product. When asked about the investment in SimpliFi, Wael Nafee stated, “Investing in SimpliFi was an easy decision given the problem it is solving, the team’s vision and experience, and the early traction they have had.” We see card issuance as a common need and a significant pain point for a number of businesses we speak with, and we’re excited to be partnering with SimpliFi as they build the payments infrastructure that will enable regional businesses to grow and scale.”
As of now, the startup has a market capitalization of over $14 billion and a team of over 15 employees with experience working in Fortune 500 companies.