In a country where 50% of its 100 million people are active smartphone users, two out of every three people have little or no access to formal financial services.

The underbanked and unbanked in the North African country are getting financial services from banks. One such provider is Cairo-based Khazna, which has raised $38 million in debt and equity. The company has received $47 million since it was founded.

Basic banking and various financial services are provided by the company founded by four people.

The earned wage access product was launched in 2020. The product allows partner employers to give cash advances to their employees in either part or in full.

In emerging markets such as India, Nigeria and Indonesia, startup companies are helping employees access their salaries in real time, which is attracting investor interest. It is part of a financial inclusion play that saves consumers the stress of running out of money or taking money from predatory lenders.

Refyne, Wagely, and NowPay are some of the providers that offer this as a separate service. It is one of the multiple services sold to consumers. Since securing an undisclosed seed round, which from some deduction falls between $8-9 million, the company has added offerings such as buy now, pay later, bill payments and a pre-paid card. Telda and Sympl are similar providers in Egypt.

We are more of a super app than a digital bank because we have launched multiple non-financial services as well on the app, according to CEO Selah.

The interests of low to middle-income Egyptian users are in line with how the products are designed.

The chief executive said that the service is available in 1,000 merchant stores. He said the platform has 150,000 users. Selah points out that the product expansion and user growth is what the company plans to launch before the end of the year.

The Central Bank of Egypt's (CBE) push for financial inclusion and a less-cash framework is one of the key highlights of the journey. But that isn't all. According to its chief executive, the startup will try to leverage the bank's infrastructure for some services.

We are aligned with the vision of the CBE and believe that world-class financial services should be available to all. They are launching a number of initiatives, including the instant payment network where we will offer some services like instant payments through this infrastructure.

The leadership team of the Egyptian startup is made up of former executives from WorldRemit, Match Group, and others. The startup wants to increase the number of Egyptians that use its financial super app to 1 million by the end of the century.

It will bank on the recent financing from Quona Capital. The impact investor has already invested in an Egyptian startup after Capiter.

The round received participation from a number of companies.

Monica Brand Engel, Quona co-founder and managing partner, said that in just two years, Khazna has scaled and monetized quickly and is already a market leader in the push for financial inclusion for the 35 million underbanked in Egypt.

Millions of Egyptians can gain greater control over their financial lives with the help of the financial super app. Quona is very excited about the future of the digital super app for inclusive finance in Egypt.

The company received debt financing from a lender. The security agent for the debt transaction was said to be Arab Bank Egypt.