Entrepreneur Mounir Nakhla didn’t start off his career with the goal of building the largest digital finance platform in Egypt, yet in a country where 65 million are reliant on cash and one-third are unbanked, he found himself driven to solve real problems that improve people’s lives today.
With roots in microfinance and the environment, Mr. Nakhla started MNT-Halan, a fintech company that has transformed into a market leader in the fast-growing and highly untapped consumer finance and microfinance sectors in Egypt. During a recent Prosper Africa institutional investor delegation visit to Cairo, Egypt, investors met Mr. Nakhla and Chief Technology Officer Ahmed Mohsen to tour MNT-Halan’s tech headquarters and learn more about investment opportunities in Egypt’s booming fintech sector.
MNT-Halan offers Egyptian customers a range of innovative digital solutions to meet their banking needs, including small and micro business lending, payments, consumer finance, and e-commerce. With 1.3 million monthly active users, MNT-Halan serves more than five million customers in Egypt, of which 3.5 million are financial clients and two million are borrowers, mostly from rural areas.
Women are central to the company’s ethos. More than half of MNT-Halan customers are women, and 25 percent of its managers are women, a percentage unheard of in most Egyptian companies.
The MNT-Halan model is built on a sophisticated technological platform that provides multiple touchpoints to stay engaged with users throughout the ecosystem.
“With lending and payment services, as well as a vibrant online marketplace, we are making connections with banks, companies, and consumers to make sure everyone’s needs are met through digital services,” said Mr. Nakhla, Founder and CEO.
Having already achieved 25 percent of the microfinance market share in Egypt, the company is looking to scale and take their technology into other countries with partners who know the local lending system, which requires highly contextualized knowledge.
Investors are taking notice of MNT-Halan’s success and growth potential. MNT-Halan is Egypt’s first fintech company this year to achieve a $1 billion valuation. In 2018, Development Partners International (DPI), a leading private equity firm in Africa and Prosper Africa partner, was the founding investor in MNT with $45 million, and then in 2021, DPI joined major global and regional growth investors Apis Growth Fund II and Lorax Capital Partners to invest $120 million in the company. DPI invested from its ADP II and ADP III Funds, which included U.S. institutional investors who were exposed to the Africa investment landscape through the Prosper Africa investor delegation trips. DPI’s ADP III Fund is the largest private equity fund actively deploying in Africa.
In February, MNT-Hallan announced more than $350 million in investments, and the company is in advanced stages with leading international investors to raise $60 million of primary capital.
Ziad Abaza, Partner for DPI covering Egypt, presented the delegation with his perspective on the return potential when investing in a company like MNT-Halan.
“We continue to believe in the medium to long term fundamentals of Egypt, underpinned by the demographics of the country,” said Mr. Abaza. “While the current macro environment remains challenging and downside near-term FX risks persists, MNT is an example of a company that can still deliver attractive USD growth given the under penetration of a very exciting industry and the excellent execution by the management team.”
“With an increasingly young, tech savvy population, the cutting edge digital services and range of accessible and profitable financial services offered through MNT-Halan are tangibly reaching Egypt’s unbanked population and improving financial inclusion across the country,” said Prosper Africa Senior Investment Advisor Cameron Khosrowshahi. Prosper Africa is the U.S. government’s initiative to increase trade and investment between the United States and African countries.
“Prosper Africa leverages site visits to successful investable projects during investor delegation trips to present U.S. investors with attractive investment opportunities that will make a real impact and change lives,” said Khosrowshahi.
Prosper Africa, in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and MiDA Advisors through the USAID Africa Trade and Investment (ATI) program, will organize future investor delegation trips in 2023 to Botswana, South Africa, and Morocco.
For more information on Prosper Africa, please visit www.prosperafrica.gov.