More than 400 million Africans are Muslims, but for many of these individuals, the financial services available to them are not Shari'ah compliant.
For example, Shari'ah prohibits the acceptance or payment of 'riba' (interest) or products that are accompanied by uncertainty. However, conventional finance offerings are often high-risk and interest-bearing.
This has created a fast-growing Islamic finance sector with more than $1.9 trillion in assets. While Asian countries like Brunei and Bangladesh have achieved up to 15% market share, other countries with Islamic residents are catching up.
In Africa, Agel, an Egyptian fintech startup has closed a pre-seed round from prominent angel investors and venture capital firms like Plus Venture Capital (+VC), Seedstars International Ventures, Flat6labs, SEEDRA Ventures, and Banque Misr.
Founded in 2021 by Abdelrahman Saeed (CEO) and Ahmed El Sherbiny (COO), Agel provides alternative financing options for MSMEs in Egypt. Through its mobile app, Agel empowers merchants to buy and sell goods on credit.
According to Saeed, this funding will help the startup deepen its product capabilities and expand across Egypt's major cities.
El Sherbiny adds that its unique approach has driven increased demand for Agel's services.
"Since we launched, we have witnessed a remarkably positive response from the merchants. Our unique approach to finance for MSMEs has witnessed a significant increase in demand for our services. As we deepen our product capabilities, we are confident in introducing several more easy and convenient payment options to satisfy our clients. We look forward to establishing Agel as the preferred platform across Egypt and beyond."