Amwal, a Middle East-based fintech startup, has secured $2.5 million in a pre-seed funding round co-led by Shorooq Partners and Outliers Venture Capital, along with several angel investors.
The company aims to transform the way money is authenticated globally by combining device identity, fraud prevention, and payment tokenisation in a single API. Amwal has developed a cryptographic biometric checkout solution that leverages multi-device authentication tokens (FIDO-passkeys) for payments, making it one of the first implementations of this technology.
Currently, more than 50 million online transactions take place every day in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, including e-commerce, bank transfers, wallets, and remittances. However, the authentication process involves outdated credential-based passwords and SMS OTPs, which are frictional, phishable, and expensive to maintain and distribute.
By removing the friction of account creation, shipping address, payment details, and authentication, Amwal's network of merchants can increase their checkout conversion by 35%, according to Mohamed Zaghoo, co-founder and CEO of Amwal.
The company aims to improve the authentication and authorization for the MENA $250 billion payment market by licensing its biometric checkout solution from Saudi payments (Saudi Central Bank).
Shorooq Partners, which co-led the funding round, believes that the future of online payments is identity-powered, and Amwal's technology can establish new rails of secure and seamless fund flow that will propel global trade. The company's goal is to create a more secure and efficient payment infrastructure that benefits merchants and consumers alike.