Egypt’s MNT-Halan Hits USD 1 B Valuation, Ends Africa’s Unicorn Drought

By  |  February 1, 2023

MNT-Halan—an Egyptian startup that combines fintech and eCommerce offerings—has raised USD 400 M in equity and debt financing to realize a post-money valuation of USD 1 B. 

The feat ends a unicorn dry spell that has gripped Africa for over a year; the continent last minted a billion-dollar startup in November 2021, when Nigeria’s Chipper Cash soaked in an FTX-led Series C extension of USD 150 M. 

MNT-Halan’s narrative started in 2017 when the duo that is Mounir Nakhla and Ahmed Mohsen began building, out of Zamalek Giza, a ride-hailing platform (just Halan) for Egyptians. In less than a year after going to market, the company added B2B and B2C on-demand logistics solutions to its play. 

Between 2019 and 2020, the business not only branched into food delivery but also charted a course toward becoming a super app. Within these periods, the startup raised a Series A of USD 4.3 M and a Series B of USD 15 M. Then, in 2021, it closed a share swap deal with Dutch microlender MNT Investments BV, officially rebranding as MNT-Halan. 

After joining new ranks—one which saw it become a fintech ecosystem with global ambitions—the Egypt-headquartered company raised USD 120 M from PE firms Apis Growth Fund II, Development Partners International (DPI), and Lorax Capital Partners, and VCs like Middle East Venture Partners, Endeavor Catalyst and DisruptTech. 

MNT-Halan’s last and new funding intake comes on the back of its lending activities in a country where more than 70 percent of 100 million people are financially underserved. 

Today, the venture claims to be the largest lender to Egypt’s unbanked, with total loans disbursed exceeding USD 2 B. According to Nakhla, the company issued loans of above USD 65 M last month and generally has a balanced non-performing ratio. 

“We’re capitalizing on our existing distribution through million-plus customers and adding services within our ecosystem. If you need a loan for your business, we’re going to give you one; you need a loan for consumption, we’re going to give you one; you need to order groceries or buy a mobile phone on our platform, we’ll deliver it to you via our e-commerce stores. Also, we can give them the credit they can use to make all of these purchases within the ecosystem,” he said. 

Noteworthily, MNT-Halan, while being the eleventh African unicorn, is Egypt’s second. In 2019, Fawry, a leading e-payments company, became the first to do it, however by reaching a public market capitalization of USD 1.07 B. 

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