EGYPT – valU, an Egypt-based Buy-Now, Pay-Later (BNPL) lifestyle-enabling fintech platform, has announced that Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair, Salman Abdulaziz Alhokair, and Abdul Majeed Abdulaziz Alhokair – Alhokair Family- have agreed to acquire a 4.99 percent stake in valU for US$12.4 million, valuing the company at US$247.4 million.
The transaction, which is currently subject to relevant regulatory approvals and the fulfilment of certain conditions precedent, represents Alhokair Family’s first investment in an Egyptian BNPL platform, highlighting valU’s market strength and serving as a key stepping stone for the platform to establish strategic regional partnerships.
“We are extremely proud of the fact that Alhokair Family is now a shareholder in valU. Preceded by the announcement of valU’s entry into KSA, our first new-market entry since we began operations out of Cairo 5 years ago, the acquisition agreement cements our solid partnership with Alhokair, a retail powerhouse and a perfect partner on our journey to expand across the region,” said Walid Hassouna, CEO of valU.
“valU has definitely filled a financing gap in the Egyptian market and supported financial inclusion. The business model that we created strives to have a positive daily impact on hundreds of thousands of consumers, retailers, and service providers across the country.”
The deal follows valU’s entry into the Saudi market last week via FAS Finance, a joint venture (JV) with FAS Labs in which FAS Labs owns 65 percent and valU owns 35 percent.
FAS Finance and the strategic alliance present a lifestyle-enabling solution to Saudi shoppers, with valU giving improved affordability and value for customers, all accessible via a single digital platform.
“We are thrilled to be further growing our partnership with the Alhokair Family. The transaction puts valU, the largest BNPL provider in Egypt, at a US$247.4 million valuation, and is a testament to valU’s visible success story, business model, and potential for growth in Egypt and on a regional level,” said Karim Awad, Group CEO of EFG Hermes Holding.
“We are proud to have grown a strong brand like valU that, since late 2017, has not only established itself as the leading BNPL platform but has also attracted the interest of the world’s largest retailer, Amazon, one of the most important brands globally, and now one of the region’s most prominent retail players, Alhokair.”
valU presently has over 5,000 points of sale in its native nation, serving hundreds of thousands of clients who buy home furnishings, electronics, home appliances, fashion, vehicle spare parts, healthcare, education, and travel, among other things.
With its introduction into the Saudi market, valU will be present across Alhokair’s extensive retail network of over 1,000 outlets, as well as online on the VogaCloset and monobrand websites, 14 of which will be in Saudi Arabia. It will also incorporate and cover the full Saudi market by extending to other vendors, retail networks, and merchants.
The Alhokair Family’s agreement to acquire a stake in valU signifies investors’ interest in the Egyptian NBFI space and positions it as a major innovator and exporter of financial inclusion solutions at a time when inflationary pressures in the country and the region are on the increase.
EFG Hermes Holding and Amazon entered into an option agreement last month in which Amazon committed to purchase US$10 million in EFG Hermes GDRs with the option to replace that investment in valU at a later date, resulting in a stake of 4.255 percent of valU’s issued share capital.
Fawaz Alhokair is a Saudi billionaire property developer, and the 8th richest man in the Arab world.