Fintech front runner


Abdulmajeed Alsukhan, Co-Founder and CEO of Tamara describes the reasons his fintech company has seen ten-fold growth since its inception and its mission to act as a leader in innovation and entrepreneurial spirit in Saudi Arabia.

As Saudi Arabia wakes up the world with its revolutionary economic diversification strategy, the nation’s innovative startups are taking the world by storm. One such shining star is local fintech frontrunner Tamara, an up-and-coming company that provides shopping and payment solutions in the GCC region. The company has rocketed to regional acclaim and now supports over 7 million customers and more than 20k merchants including international brands such as IKEA and SHEIN and regional online shopping platforms such as Noon and Jarir. Offering Sharia-compliant credit options, the platform is now active in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait, with a team working across borders, having their headquarters in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and offices in the UAE, Egypt, Germany and Vietnam. Tamara boasts heavy gains for its merchant clients, averaging a 40% increase in order value, 20% lower cash on delivery, and a significant decrease in returns. 

We’re changing how you shop

Co-founders Abdulmajeed Alsukhan, Turki Bin Zarah, and Abdulmohsen Albabtain established the company in 2020 during the pandemic as usage in e-commerce and digital payments was skyrocketing. The company is heavily aligned with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 initiative and was the first BNPL platform to be put through Saudi Central Bank’s innovation sandbox program launched in 2018 to modernize the local financial services sector. “The Vision 2030 initiative emphasizes the development of a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem and the promotion of innovation in financial technology within the country,” said Alsukhan. Within the first five months after launching, the company passed multiple regional funding milestones, including the largest-ever initial seed investment round in Saudi Arabia with $6 million raised and the largest-ever recorded Series A funding round in the Middle East and North African region with $110 million raised led by fintech leader Checkout.com. In 2022, the company underwent its Series B investment round and raised another $100 million, and most recently in March secured up to $150 million debt facility from Goldman Sachs Group Inc, bringing up its total acquired investment to $366 million in debt and equity. “The proof of our success lies in the trust we now have from international players such as Checkout.com, Goldman Sachs, and Coatue that have recognized our potential and value. Their continued support and investment validate our growth trajectory and position as a leader in the industry,” said Alsukhan.

"Becoming a unicorn is not our singular goal; our mission is to empower people in the region and inspire a new wave of innovation and entrepreneurship."

The company’s remarkable success follows the rise of e-commerce and digital payment methods in Saudi Arabia and the region. According to the US’ International Trade Administration, Saudi Arabia’s e-commerce users are expected to climb to 33.6 million by 2024, a 42% rise since 2019. “In 2022, the country recorded an impressive 352 million real-time payment transactions with projections of reaching 1.2 billion in 2027,” said Alsukhan. “Trust in the BNPL option has grown rapidly, with more than 50% of consumers in the MENA region currently using BNPL platforms and 36% of merchants in the region offering BNPL options at checkout.” The company leader attributes the company’s growth to addressing gaps in the market and meeting the needs of the region’s youth at the right time: “ Our growth and success in the region are driven by the shift in trust towards e-commerce, high smartphone penetration, investment in financial inclusion, limited access to short-term credit, and the region's large population of young consumers.”

The company’s growth strategy is based on focusing on its key verticals of shopping, payments, and banking. In the next two years, Tamara plans on focusing its efforts on the GCC region by providing a comprehensive and seamless experience that addresses the diverse financial needs of individuals and businesses in the region. With the goal of becoming the go-to platform for all things related to shopping, payments, and banking in the GCC. However, pure growth is not the only name of the game for the fintech innovator. “Becoming a unicorn is not our singular goal; our mission is to empower people in the region and inspire a new wave of innovation and entrepreneurship. We believe that through determination, passion, and relentless pursuit of excellence anyone can create transformative change,” said Alsukhan.