Dubai fintech Lune secures pre-seed funding to accelerate expansion in MENA
The start-up has built the first-of-it-kind platform in the region to transform raw customer transaction data into powerful insights for banks, neo-banks, and other financial organisations.
Lune, a UAE-based data start-up co-founded by Helal Tariq Lootah, an Emirati entrepreneur, and Alexandre Soued, announced it has successfully raised USD850,000 in its pre-seed round backed by Dubai Future District Fund (DFDF), Flat6Labs, and several angel investors. The company, which unlocks unprecedented insight from consumers’ financial transactions, already operates across the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and will leverage the cash infusion to scale across the entire GCC by the end of the year.
“While the region’s Banking and Finance Institutions are innovating at breakneck speed, the lack of detailed visibility into transactional data presents a formidable barrier to the sector. This lack of visibility prevents consumers from effectively taking control of their spending, and BFSIs from introducing or enhancing services based on customer preferences,” explained Lootah.
Lune is the region’s first data start-up entirely focused on democratising financial data and enabling institutions to empower the communities they serve. Using proprietary artificial intelligence to convert raw customer payment and transaction data into valuable data points, the company is enabling BFSIs to provide more curated, high-value financial services. The technology is localised to the MENA region, considering data points ranging from regional brands to Arabic text identification. Lune is currently working with various clients in the UAE, KSA, Oman, Bahrain, and Qatar.
“Our success is built on having identified a pressing market gap and addressing it by creating a locally relevant solution. The systems and data processing engines of US and European providers are incompatible with Middle Eastern transactional data, so our offering is truly unique to the region. We are excited about being a key enabler of the ongoing transformation of the MENA’s financial ecosystem,” said Soued.
Fatima Al Naqbi, Chief Innovation Officer at the Ministry of Finance and MBRIF representative, said: “Lune’s ability to raise US$850K in pre-seed funding underlines investor confidence in the UAE entrepreneurship ecosystem’s ability to foster highly innovative and disruptive startups that can support the country’s vision of becoming a global hub for the FinTech industry. Lune recently graduated from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund Accelerator program, and we are delighted to be an integral part of their journey to make finance simpler and more accessible to people. This is completely aligned with our mission to support the UAE National Innovation Strategy by nurturing entrepreneurs and start-ups that will have a positive economic and social impact.”
Lune is one of the 16 startups who have been selected to join Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem, as part of its latest cohort of startups who chose Abu Dhabi as their launchpad for regional growth. With Hub71’s support, Lune will have the opportunity to accelerate innovation in the UAE’s FinTech sector and benefit from a network of corporate and government partners and investors who can help unlock growth opportunities.
In addition to joining Hub71, Lune was also a part of cycle 3 of the Flat6Labs Ignite program, a partnership between ADQ’s Disrupt AD and Flat6Labs. As part of their participation Lune’s leadership team has been extensively mentored by leading entrepreneurship experts over the last four months. This enabled the company to streamline is business, enhance its value proposition and fine-tune its go to market and expansion strategy, which primed it for the successful pre-seed funding round. Lune will leverage the new capital to grow its sales team, and onboard added technical resources to increase the speed of product development.
“We are witnessing a pivotal shift in the ways that consumers and financial institutions that serve them interact with their data. Lune is a business that aims to capitalise on that shift to provide a more accurate meta-data set to the industry. We see their solution as one that not only improves the accuracy of insights but that will also serve as a core component of every transaction-based business to make data-driven decisions on where to invest their capital to deliver true value to their end-users.” said Amer Fatayer, Investment Director at DFDF.