Saudi Arabia-based debt and equity crowdfunding company Manafa has raised nearly $28m in a Series A funding round. 

The funding round was led by venture capital investors Saudi Technology Ventures (STV) and Wa’ed Ventures, the venture capital arm of Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Centre. 

The capital raised in the funding round is expected to be used by the fintech firm to introduce new products and expand its offerings across various sectors. 

Established in 2018, Manafa delivers various financial products approved by the Saudi Central Bank and the Saudi Capital Market Authority, to meet the requirements of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in various sectors. 

According to various reports, Manafa is said to have provided funding of more than SAR1.5bn ($399m) to over 180 SMEs, through its platforms with the participation of more than 100,000 retail and institutional investors. 

The fintech start-up is expected to double the number of investors who are offered the opportunity to invest in previously-inaccessible alternative asset classes.  

Manafa’s technology platform is said to cater to SMEs and larger companies that are seeking to access credit and equity financing along with serving retail and institutional investors willing to invest capital into Saudi SMEs. 

Manafa co-founder and chairman Amr Murad has been quoted by various news agencies, as saying: “The idea of Manafa started with the launch of the Financial Sector Development Program as one of the Vision 2030 realisation programmes. 

“Today, and within a short period, we were able to transform one of the vision’s goals into a reality that efficiently contributes to the providing of financing, investment and savings solutions through solid, effective and reliable technology-enabled business models, and we aim – with the completion of this round – to work with our partners to increase the impact of Manafa products and solutions on the growth of private sector companies and enhance the empowerment of financial planning for individuals.”