ṣabā il kẖayr,
That’s “good morning” in Arabic
Apple has become the first company to reach a $2 trillion market cap; investors are pouring money into the house that Steve Jobs built betting that it would serve as a refuge from the pandemic-induced recession.
In Egypt, an 11 year-old fintech company is experiencing a similar rise in investor confidence. So much so that, in a country that already knows a thing or two about elegant mythical creatures, a unicorn was recently born. Or was it?
A unicorn in the land of the sphinx
Fawry has made history by becoming the first Egyptian company to reach a market cap of $ 1 billion.
It wasn’t entirely expected, startups like the Y Combinator-backed Instabug were tipped
to reach the valuation milestone first, although that was before the pandemic.
Fawry is Egypt’s leading electronic payment platform. It has a network of over 105,000 service points across the country, this includes ATMs, mobile wallets, post offices and kiosks.
Fawry went public on the Egyptian Exchange in August 2019, since then its stock price has increased by over 300%.
In making the announcement
, the company’s former managing director Mohamed Okasha called Fawry a unicorn. Although, as a publicly-traded entity, that claim is up for debate.
What is less disputable, however, is the significance of the valuation.
Fawry isn’t the first African tech company to reach a $1 billion market cap, far from, but it still has some continental firsts.
- It’s the first outside of Sub-Saharan Africa, which further strengthens Egypt’s position as a regional leader.
- It’s the first to do so on a local stock exchange which is a model case of a viable alternative to international listings.
- It also achieved this after IPO, meaning it has grown into the market valuation.
All indicators that will no doubt encourage investors and the ecosystem as a whole.