28/09/2017 05:37 AST

Waha Capital, an Abu Dhabi-based investment firm has acquired a significant minority stake in a local fintech company valued at $55 million, the company executives said on Wednesday. Waha is taking a minority stake in Dubai based Channel VAS, a rapidly growing fintech company. The exact stake was not disclosed.

“Through this acquisition, we are enhancing our portfolio by tapping into a high-potential industry and an innovative company backed by a best-in-class management team that already has an impressive track record, and is implementing a solid strategy for expansion.” said Salem Al Noaimi, CEO and Managing Director of Waha Capital.

Operating in over 25 emerging markets, Channel VAS is providing micro finance lending solutions to over 500 million mobile network subscribers, who often do not have access to other financial services. It provides airtime credit services, micro cash loans, handset loans and credit services for prepaid utilities across Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe.

“This partnership will further cement Channel VAS’ leading position on the fintech front and will support us in providing even more innovative services and financial solutions to hundreds of million people all over the world, most of which are without easy reach of traditional financial services,” said Bassim Haidar, founder and CEO of Channel VAS during a press conference in Abu Dhabi.

He said the company started its operations with an idea to offer credit to consumers when they run out of airtime and grew rapidly in a short span of time. “It was like an experiment which ended up being extremely successful initially in small African countries and expanded to more than eleven markets in Africa and by the end of this year we are expected to be in seventeen African markets,” he added.

Channel VAS has exceeded the $1 billion mark in loans in 2016. It provides micro-loans as low as $10 to 20 cents.


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