Pemo launches all-in-one spend management platform for MENAP SMEs
Mita Srinivasan
10X Technology

Pemo launches all-in-one spend management platform for MENAP SMEs

$12 million seed round will be used to drive further product development and expansion across MENAP, with plans to establish Saudi Arabia operations by end of 2022. The company later plans to extend its geographical footprint into Egypt and Pakistan.

Pemo, the UAE-based fintech startup has launched its all-in-one spend management platform for small and medium-sized enterprises across the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan (MENAP) region. The new platform offers fast, transparent, and simplified invoice payment and expense management solutions, as well as smart corporate cards for SMEs in the region.

The announcement follows a $12 million funding round, co-led by Cherry Ventures and Shorooq Partners, with participation from FinTech Collective, Speedinvest, BY Venture Partners and Antler. In addition, the round included private investment from prominent business angels and other successful members of the regional and global tech community.

Following its UAE launch, Pemo is looking to establish operations in Saudi Arabia by the end of 2022. The expansion will support the Kingdom’s Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP), which aims to build a cashless economy as part of the Saudi Vision 2030. The company later plans to extend its geographical footprint into Egypt and Pakistan.

The Pemo platform is tailored to the requirements of SMEs in emerging markets and has begun onboarding its first batch of UAE-based companies. Currently available features include digitized invoices, automated approval flows, one-click invoice payments and real-time cash flow monitoring. Users can soon access physical and virtual prepaid cards that can be topped up and distributed to employees. Through integration into the Pemo app, the prepaid card will automatically categorize employee expenses, capture receipts for each transaction, and offer business owners and management teams full visibility on corporate spending.

Over the past two years, corporate spend startups across the US, Europe, Southeast Asia and Latin America have been on the radar of the most prominent venture capital funds, with companies such as Ramp, Pleo, Spenmo and Clara receiving significant support in scaling into new markets and expanding product offerings. Their growth and its resulting private investment were earned by a proven approach of offering corporate cards, combined with the venture’s ability to build software around those cards, taking into account the functionality needed by companies to track expenses, manage spend access, and save money.

Pemo was co-founded by serial entrepreneurs, and Rocket Internet and Google alumni, Ayham Gorani, Valerie Konde, Alessandro Duri, and Saed Ghorani, who have collectively launched or scaled more than eight ventures over the last 15 years. They are supported by a founding team of 20 members stemming from successful local and international tech companies.

Ayham Gorani, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Pemo, said: “We’re operating in a region where more than 90 percent of businesses are SMEs, many of which rely heavily on multiple platforms, processes and entities to manage their corporate spending, creating a number of challenges, such as irregular expense reports and high costs. This is exactly the day-to-day friction we are removing by combining all spend management functions in one hub. Ultimately, this helps businesses to save money and time, while empowering team members to make purchasing decisions quickly and responsibly.”