Fintech Galaxy enters Egypt with acquisition of Underlie

Ellie Duncan
03 Jan 2023

Fintech Galaxy, which became the first central bank-regulated Open Finance platform in the MENA region in November last year, has acquired Egypt-based Open Banking platform Underlie to accelerate market penetration.

The acquisition of Underlie, which builds Open Banking application programming interfaces (APIs) for banks and businesses, will give Fintech Galaxy a foothold in Egypt, where the population numbers 100 million and the Open Finance market is forecast to grow by 25% annually over the next five years.

Following the deal, Fintech Galaxy intends to develop and launch new digital solutions and advance financial inclusion in Egypt.

“Underlie’s expertise in building Open Banking APIs and knowledge of the local market will help us speed up our Egypt market penetration, boost the expansion in the region and release countless opportunities to create new Open Banking/Open Finance-enabled use cases,” said Riyadh Al Zamil, chairman of Fintech Galaxy’s board of directors and investors.

Al Zamil confirmed that, as part of the deal, all of Underlie’s employees will join Fintech Galaxy.

Mirna Sleiman, CEO and founder of Fintech Galaxy, added: “The acquisition of Underlie anchors our Open Banking/Open Finance efforts and enables us to succeed in providing enhanced, seamless, and enjoyable financial experiences, expanding and consolidating our position across the MENA markets.

“Cross-border collaboration is key to moving the needle on financial inclusion in Egypt and beyond.”

Underlie was founded in 2020 by Akram Abdou, who said the acquisition is “testament to the positive impact Underlie has achieved so far”.

In November 2022, Fintech Galaxy was granted a license by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) to operate as a regulated third party provider (TPP), in compliance with the Bahraini Open Banking Standards.

As well as Bahrain and Egypt, it now has a presence in the UAE, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Moldova.