Paymob expands to Pakistan

Egypt’s digital payments provider Paymob plans to start its operations in Pakistan this month, taking advantage of a market that has seen a funding frenzy in its startups.

The Cairo-based company, which allows online businesses and offline merchants to accept and send payments, sees a significant opportunity in Pakistan, Islam Shawky, CEO and co-founder of Paymob, said in an interview. The company plans to have 100,000 merchants in its first two years in Pakistan, he said and added it currently operates in Egypt, Jordan and Kenya and aims to enter Saudi Arabia later this year.

The expansion comes after the startup scene in Pakistan, the world’s fifth-largest nation, had a record funding of more than $350 million last year. Dragoneer Investment Group and Tiger Global Management have made their first investments in the past few months.

“Our focus is small and medium enterprises that are a cornerstone of the economy but under served,” said Shawky “There is a huge gap in emerging markets.”

Pakistan’s digital payments is low with just over 80,000 POS terminals and less than 3,000 e-commerce gateways, said Shawky. The company also plans to extend its tap-on-phone payment service in Pakistan that has been recently introduced in its home market with MasterCard Inc.