Startup IMAN raised $1 million from investment funds

23 March, 2022

IMAN fintech startup raised $1 million during the previous investment round. Funds were received from six venture capital investors and foundations in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, the United States and Singapore, including Tesla Capital, Battery Road Digital Holdings, Le Mercier’s Capital, Vector Crypto Capital, UZCARD Ventures and IT Park.

The investments were made to realize the goal of the startup – to make halal BNPL-investments (buy now, pay later – an unregulated method of crediting in instalments) daily available first in Uzbekistan, and then all over the world.

What problem does IMAN solve?

IMAN is an Islamic banking payment and investment service. In Uzbekistan, as in the rest of the Muslim world, there is a problem: Muslims do not use labour financial and investment products in banks, do not take loans and do not put money at interest because it is not under sharia law. 

Islamic law prohibits usury, as well as borrowing money at interest rates. Monetary operations must be carried out under the scheme «goods —money — goods». 

The number of Muslims worldwide is about 1.5 billion. Of these, 700 million are adults with Internet access, of whom only 29% of banks. According to country-specific statistics, 97% of the population in Uzbekistan identified themselves as Muslims, and 68% of them did not use banks at all.

The main reason why many financial transactions are still unpopular among Muslims is the lack of appropriate financial products and services in local banks.

«We have created a solution that allows both those who want to invest money and those who want to receive financing to make money transactions on the principle of Islamic finance. We are building the world’s first Islamic super-app, which will provide services for both investors and individuals and companies. Our clients can invest in micro-finance projects (such as Islamic instalments) and in companies to finance their working capital and make a profit». 

The founder of IMAN Rustam Rakhmatov

So, IMAN is not just a startup, but perhaps a whole movement that will help the development of Islamic banking. According to the company, by the end of June 2022, the team plans to receive an investment of another one million dollars at the pre-series A stage at an estimate of the company of 10 million dollars.

What will the investments be used for?

As IMAN Director-General Rustam Rakhmatov said, investments should help to increase the scale of technologies and facilitate integration with retail outlets in Uzbekistan. In this way, the company will be able to develop trade partnerships in all sectors.

«First of all, these investments will help us to scale up our technology to seamlessly integrate with retail partners across Uzbekistan, both online and offline, to provide financing in a matter of seconds. Secondly, we will be able to more actively develop partnerships with vendors in all sectors, including beauty and fashion, everyday products and services. Finally, these investments will allow us to start exploring opportunities in other Muslim-majority markets in early 2023». 

Rustam Rakhmatov for Forbes.kz

As another founder of the project, Mark Zubov, notes, the investment will enable IMAN to create a digital bridge between investors in developed markets and consumers in emerging Muslim-majority markets.

The Battery Road Investment Fund from Singapore and New York is investing in Central Asia for the first time. As noted in IMAN, the fast-growing economy, combined with the convenience of technology, offers opportunities for Islamic fintech.

The founders of the startup are already working on plans to reach other border markets by the beginning of 2023, where predominantly young and technologically savvy people with growing incomes, profess Islam.

Site of the project: https://imaninvest.com 

Sourses:

https://forbes.kz/finances/investment/kazahstanskie_angelyi_vlojilis_v_finteh-startap_halyalnyih_investitsiy/?utm_source=forbes&utm_medium=incut&utm_campaign=270116

https://plusworld.ru/daily/platezhnyj-biznes/iman-privlek-1-mln-dollarov-ot-investfondov-iz-kazahstana-singapura-i-uzbekistana/