Payment gateway start-up Telr secures institutional funding, plans regional expansion


Award-winning online payment gateway start-up, Telr, has closed a new institutional round of funding led by its three largest investors, representing a vote of confidence as it appoints new CEO, Khalil Alami, with plans to break into new markets.

The tech start-up, which provides bespoke payment gateway services to companies’ specific payment requirements, operates from a Dubai HQ across the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The new round of funding enables the business to proceed with aggressive growth plans, which include penetrating the fast-growing markets in the GCC, MENA and others beginning in Q1 of 2020.

The appointment of Khalil Alami as the firm’s new CEO represents another significant gear change in the company’s fortunes – Alami previously acted as CEO of publicly listed International Cards Company (ICC) and served as a Board Member for the Young Entrepreneurs Association in Jordan. His role will be to deliver growth and build upon Telr’s success, which, “is partly due to Telr’s incredibly flexible, wholly-owned platform, which allows us to customise in a truly unique way for each customer.”

Alami also pointed towards the Company’s unique proposition for large organisations and SME’s, referring to its in-house build capabilities, which he says, “Enable us to work with SME’s and make a real impact on their performance. Likewise, we’ve made a huge, tangible contribution to how major organisations operate and how they interact with their customers.”

While Telr processes payments for large-scale organisations such as government entities, retail chains and taxi hailing apps – among other big brand apps – it also provides payment solutions to the small and medium enterprises (SME) segment. Alami advocates working with SME’s because of their potential for job creation, economic diversification and financial inclusion through the provision of new payment solutions for small traders. “Small businesses are the backbone of any economy and are huge employers. Merchants can grow their company in an affordable and creative way without having to worry about how to capture payments from their customers or about accessing financial services. Similarly, the flexibility that comes with our platform enables us to provide value-added services that support large organizations as well.” 

Telr also offers its clients a suite of business management services including digital invoicing, state-of-the-art anti-fraud security and real-time monitoring services, QR Codes, social commerce solutions, hosted pages and entry-level fee packages for brand new start-ups among other things. Alami continued, “Our solutions meet the needs of the 21st century customer and the demands of the 4th industrial revolution. As countries such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia move ever closer to becoming cashless societies, it’s an ecosystem that everybody benefits from.”

Commenting on his firm’s confidence in Telr, the Founder and Managing Director of investment company iMENA, Khaldoon Tabaza said, “A home-grown payment gateway is a natural winner in a market like ours, building on tailwinds that include growth of the market, electronic payments, and online businesses, along with Telr’s unique differentiators that include, but are not limited to its proprietary technology and presence across many markets.” He added, “We now have the team in place to grow the platform and offering further, adding new products and markets.”

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