Asia’s Islamic Neobanking Fintech Alif Reports Steady YoY Growth

Alif, an Islamic Fintech and neobank based in Central Asia, claims it has recorded over 121% year-on-year growth.

Operating as a “fully” licensed bank in Tajikistan and an e-commerce and fintech company in Uzbekistan, Alif’s total number of users has reportedly “surpassed 1.5 million, with a 72% annual increase in customer numbers alone in 2022.”

The volume of transactions facilitated via Alif also increased substantially in 2022, the firm revealed.

Taking into the account the significance of remittance payments in the region, it “recorded a 405% and 96% increase in inward and outward remittance payments.” The turnover on mobile payments “increased by 287% – an indication of the scaling adoption of fintech solutions by businesses and consumers to manage their finances.”

Founded in 2014, Alif explains that it “offers a host of B2C and B2B financial solutions, leveraging the latest innovative technologies.”

Within only 1 year of launching Visa cards, Alif reportedly became a key issuer “among 9 financial institutions that issue Visa cards in Tajikistan.” Alif’s progress is supported by a 1,120-member team of technological and finance professionals.

Alongside increases in growth metrics, in November 2022 Gulanor Atobek “assumed the position of CEO of Alif Bank, the Tajik subsidiary of Alif.”

Cofounders Abdullo Kurbanov, Firdavs Mirzoev and Zuhursho Rahmatulloev “remain at the holding level, focusing on the international expansion of Alif.”

In 2021, Alif reportedly “closed one of the largest fintech funding rounds in Central Asia, raising $8 million in equity and $50 million in debt, and receiving a company valuation of $100 million at the time.”

The total investment was “raised by its existing shareholder Jefferson Capital Holdings Limited – a UK-based investment vehicle founded by Khofiz Shakhidi, who also serves as Chairman of Alif.”

Khofiz Shakhidi, Chairman of Alif, said:

“In less than a decade, Alif has become a leading Islamic fintech and neobank. Transaction volumes and user numbers are rising at a rapid rate, with Alif at the helm of such innovations, providing the market with financial solutions relevant to the needs of the private sector and wider society in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Moreover, there are exciting expansion plans on the horizon as Alif prepares to launch in a host of new markets where there is growing demand for Islamic fintech solutions. It is for these reasons that Alif is on path to fast becoming an Islamic fintech unicorn.”

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