Wayl, the payments platform for online sellers in Iraq, has successfully secured $150,000 in pre-seed funding from EQIQ Ventures, a VC fund led by Mohamed Al-Hakim. This investment is a significant milestone for Wayl as it aims to empower social media merchants and freelance workers across the region. It is also the first investment in 2024 in an Iraqi startup after a slow fundraising year in 2023.
Founded in 2021 by Ali Ismail, Wayl serves as a payment aggregator and facilitator for small merchants and freelance contractual workers, offering a seamless platform akin to “Stripe for Iraq.” Through its user-friendly interface, merchants can manage orders, inventories, and payment processing without the need for complex registration processes or payment gateway agreements.
Recently, Wayl formalised a strategic partnership with Visa during the Dubai FinTech Summit, signifying its commitment to revolutionising digital payments in Iraq. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) sets the stage for Wayl to become the first payment facilitator in Iraq, addressing the pressing need for digital payment solutions in the burgeoning e-commerce landscape.
The explosive growth of e-commerce in the region, projected to reach $15 billion by 2027, underscores the urgency for innovative payment solutions. Despite this growth, a staggering 97% of all transactions in Iraq are still conducted in cash, highlighting the immense untapped potential for digital payments.
Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, EQIQ Ventures is a $15 million VC fund, with a focus on supporting tech startups and facilitating regional expansion. With a vision to nurture Iraqi companies and facilitate their growth on a global scale, EQIQ Ventures aims to build a robust ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship in Iraq.