Pemo – Spend Management Platform for SMEs raises $12 million in latest round

  • Middle Eastern entrepreneurs, alumni of Rocket Internet, Google and Pleo, want to make bill payment and expense management faster and more transparent for local businesses.
  • One of the largest seed rounds in the MENA fintech space, backed by Cherry Ventures, Shorooq Partners, FinTech Collective, Speedinvest, BY Venture Partners, Antler and prominent angel investors.
  • The funds will be used to fuel continued product development and expansion across MENAP, with plans to open offices in Saudi Arabia by the end of 2022

Pemo, the UAE-based fintech startup powering businesses in the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan (MENAP), announced today that it has launched its all-in-one spend management platform. Pemo provides fast, transparent and simplified bill payment and expense management solutions and smart business cards for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the region.

The announcement comes alongside a $12 million funding round co-led by specialist seed fund Cherry Ventures and Shorooq Partners, with participation from FinTech Collective, Speedinvest, BY Venture Partners and Antler. Additionally, the round included private investments from prominent business angels including unicorn founders of companies such as Nium, Payhawk, Qonto, Billie, Moss and other successful members of the regional and global tech community including Qlub’s Mahmoud Fouz, Careem’s Abdulla Elyas and Tomaso Rodriguez from Talabat.


The Pemo platform is tailored to the needs of SMEs in emerging markets and has started onboarding the first group of UAE-based companies. Features currently available include digitized invoices, automated approval workflows, one-click invoice payments, and real-time cash flow monitoring. Users will soon be able to use physical and virtual prepaid cards that can be topped up and distributed to employees. Through integration with the Pemo app, the prepaid card automatically categorizes employee spending, captures receipts for each transaction, and provides business owners and management teams with complete visibility into company spending.

Pemo was co-founded by serial entrepreneurs and Rocket Internet and Google alumni Ayham Gorani, Valerie Konde, Alessandro Duri and Saed Ghorani, who together have founded or scaled more than eight companies over the past 15 years, including Zalora and Pleo. They are supported by a founding team of 20 members drawn from successful local and international technology companies.

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

Over the past two years, corporate-issued startups in the US, Europe, Southeast Asia and Latin America have been on the radar of top-notch venture capital funds, with companies such as Ramp, Pleo, Spenmo and Clara receiving significant support as they scale into new markets and expand their product offerings. Their growth, and the resulting private investment, has been driven by a proven approach to offering corporate cards combined with the company’s ability to develop software around these cards, while considering the functionality businesses need to track expenses, access to Manage expenses and save money.

“We are grateful for the support of incredible investors who bring a wealth of industry experience and market knowledge. In particular, it is extremely beneficial for us to have the support of founders who have successfully built expense management platforms in other markets, and we look forward to working closely with them and our VC partners as we expand our offering,” said Gorani continue .

After starting in the United Arab Emirates, Pemo intends to operate 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 Saudi Vision 2030. The company later plans to expand its geographic footprint to Egypt and Pakistan.

Filip Dames, founding partner at Cherry Ventures, which has also backed fintechs like Juni and Moss, said: “In the software stack currently available, enterprise spend management and employee access to credit or debit cards continue to feel broken – and Alessandro, Valerie, Ayham, and Saed are the team fixing it. We’re excited to work with them as Pemo offers a full payments suite for an underserved segment, providing customers with a smart and efficient way to manage expenses and bill payments.”

Mahmoud Adi, Founding Partner at Shorooq Partners, commented, “We are honored to be working with the Pemo team as this incredible journey begins. The founders’ client-centric approach and strong commitment to growth make us confident they are the right team to support the region’s expense management space. Given our strong exposure to fintech infrastructure, we have no doubt that this will be a unique success story and we are very excited to see what the future holds for Pemo.”

Faisal Kawar, Principal at FinTech Collective said, “Pemo’s software has the potential to transform pain points for over 23 million SMEs in the region, which currently have a $123 billion funding gap. With this in mind, we have been impressed by what the Pemo team has achieved in such a short time, bringing together an experienced all-star team with a unique combination of experience and skills.”

Early adopters who want to be among the first to experience the Pemo platform can sign up for a demo by visiting: Pemo – Spend Management Platform for SMEs raises $12 million in latest round

Fry Electronics Team

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