Ebtikar

In June 2017, B Investments established Ebtikar for Financial Investment as the designated vehicle to invest in the Non-Banking Financial Services sector. Ebtikar’s objective is to invest in microfinance, electronic payments, leasing, mortgage, factoring, consumer finance and any other related non-banking financial services. To date, Ebtikar has acquired a stake in a leading electronic payment  provider; TBE Egypt for Payment Solutions and Services “Bee” and has established a green field micro finance company in collaboration with a international micro finance player; Vitas Group.

Bee is a leading E-payment solution provider in Egypt and operates a retail network of more than 35,000 Points of Sale (PoS). Established in 2010 by Singapore-based Technobiz Equipment PTL Ltd, Bee offers payment collection services to key service providers including mobile network operators Orange, Vodafone, Etisalat, and TE. Bee provides payment services to end users through its retail network that spans across Egypt as well as its mobile application. Customers can use Bee’s services to make payments on utility bills, airline and other transportation tickets, cinema tickets, university fees, online gaming platforms, stock exchanges, and charitable donations, among other options.

Having set its sights on expanding further into the non-bank financial services sector, B Investments invested in Bee in October 2017 through its non-banking financial services platform Ebtikar for Financial Investment.

In November 2017, Ebtikar for Financial Investment established its first greenfield project in the microfinance industry — Vitas Misr; as a joint venture between Ebtikar and a leading international microfinance player; Vitas Group. Vitas Misr aims to capitalize on Egypt’s large population of unbanked individuals that are increasingly seeking access to funding.

Vitas Group was founded as a for-profit holding company in 2006 by international NGO Global Communities (GC) as a means to consolidate and commercialize the NGO’s microfinance operations. GC operates in over 25 countries, with a particular focus on the Middle East, pioneering some of the most successful microfinance programs for over 30 years. Backed by GC, Vitas Group has built a name for itself as a leader in the field in its own right, having become a majority shareholder in a number of microfinance institutions in Romania, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq and with a minority shareholding in Palestine.

One of Egypt’s largest payment facilitators and aggregators, Masary offers collection services for more than 85 service providers including major mobile network operators: Orange, Vodafone, Etisalat and TE. Established in 2009 with a focus on serving unbanked and underbanked consumers, the leading e-payment solution provider operates a network of more than 60,000 points of sale. Masary also provides services for Egypt’s landline operator as well as the country’s electricity, water and gas sectors among other government entities. Its services are extended to include education fees, insurance services, mobile wallets, transportation tickets and charity donations.

In June 2018, B Investments through its non-banking financial services platform Ebtikar for Financial Investment acquired a stake in Masary.