Dbank, a Pakistan-based Fintech company established by two ex- Google professionals, has acquired $17.6 million via a seed round that has been co-led by Sequoia Southeast Asia and Kleiner Perkins.
Brazil’s virtual banking platform Nubank, RTP Global, Rayn and business partner Askari Bank also took part in the investment round.
Extensive details on products and launch timelines/roadmap are not available at this time, however, Dbank has applied for a virtual retail bank license in Pakistan and now aims to offer financial services to unbanked/underbanked consumers across the Pan-Islamic world.
The company has been founded by Tania Aidrus, who spent more than 10 years working at Google, primarily focused on helping move economies from cash transactions to all-digital, as well as Khurram Jamali, who is the former head of partnerships for payments across the Net Billion Users markets for Google.
As covered in December 2019, Tania Aidrus, a former director of products and payment at Google and former country manager (Singapore) for South Asia’s emerging markets at Google, had returned to Pakistan after spending 20 years working abroad.
Aidrus had been tasked (in late 2019) with leading Pakistan into the digital age. The MBA graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology shared her plan and vision to lead the country’s digital transformation efforts during the “Digital Pakistan” inauguration ceremony, held on December 5 in Islamabad.
Digital technology has been transforming business processes throughout the world. It is changing almost everything around us, including how governments and citizens interact with each other to how financial markets behave and consumers perform transactions online. Digital technology is accelerating industrial growth and agricultural productivity. It’s also improving healthcare services and the education system in developed and developing nations.
However, since that time, Pakistan is dealing with an unprecedented political and economic crisis, following the COVID-19 outbreak and Russia/Ukraine war and global crisis. The Pakistani Rupee continues to weaken while many of the nation’s residents are unable to acquire essential services.
Currently, Pakistan is seeking loans from the IMF to support its struggling economy. In April of this year, former Prime Minister Imran Khan was removed from power, however, the opposition parties including PML-N have not been able to help the country recover.