Neem, an embedded financial wellness platform based in Karachi, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding from SparkLabs, Arif Habib, Cordoba Logistics and Ventures, Taarah Ventures, My Asia VC, ConceptVines Ventures, and Building Capital.
Tell me more: Neem empowers businesses in Pakistan to provide financial wellness services to the underbanked.
It offers them two products—banking as a Service (BaaS) and lending services.
With BaaS, businesses can integrate wallets and payments and offer financial products like insurance and savings. And with lending, they can provide small businesses and consumers with customized loan products.
Make me care: Over 100 million people in Pakistan lack access to banking services, making it the world’s third-largest unbanked country.
Most startups and service providers focus on financial inclusion by helping the underbanked communities access banking.
But that’s not enough.
A bank account lets you park your money. And that’s it.
Bank loans are usually unavailable to newly banked individuals and small businesses due to collateral requirements. Additionally, their access to financial products like insurance is limited.
Neem aims to change this by partnering with companies and startups like OneLoad and Kistpay to reach consumers at the point of experience.
What they are saying: “It’s time to evolve from financial inclusion to financial wellness to fully capture the shift in people’s financial needs. We simply have to move beyond providing just access to a bank account. This has been recognised also by global players like M-PESA. The paradigm shift toward financial wellness is now possible thanks to the emergence of new business and technology models,” said Vladimira Briestenska, co-founder at Neem.
You should know: Neem was founded in 2019 by Nadeem Shaikh, Vladimira Briestenska, and Naeem Zamindar.
Both Nadeem Shaikh and Naeem Zamindar are household names in tech circles within Pakistan.
Nadeem was the former Head of Global Financial Services at Veon and Jazz, while Naeem Zamindar was a founding member of Jazz, one of the country’s top telecommunications providers.
They are both prolific angel investors too.
Zoom out: Making financial services accessible to all at the point of experience can contribute to Pakistan’s economic growth in the long run. And Neem seamlessly connects underbanked consumers and businesses to a range of financial products and services.