Qatar-based Financial Technology (fintech) startup, Cwallet, has closed a $220,000 pre-seed funding round from its founders and MBK Holding, the company’s CEO has said.

Michael Javier, who is also co-founder of Cwallet, said the startup is now working closely with Qatar Central Bank (QCB) to obtain all the necessary licences to launch their payroll and remittance feature in the near future.

Cwallet was founded in June 2019 by a group of HEC Paris in Qatar graduates to help low-income workers access digital financial services without a debit or credit card, and it aims to disrupt the current financial landscape model in Qatar, said Javier.

The startup was incubated at the Digital Incubation Centre, part of Qatar’s Ministry of Transport and Communications, and was a recipient of a development fund from Qatar Science & Technology Park, a QF member.

The blockchain-powered wallet was designed and developed to be a one-stop-shop where users can, get paid, spend, transfer airtime top-up form home country, and eventually receive their salary and send money back home along with cross border bills payment feature.

Not only does Cwallet provide digital wallet services, but now merchants, including startups and e-commerce platforms can use Cwallet as a built-in wallet for their App via API integration, he said.

“We are looking to make payment gateways affordable in Qatar, paving the way for smaller businesses to process online transactions with ease and affordability,” said Javier.

“The mission has always been to provide payment solutions for all users without exception. Financial inclusion is at the core of the business and for this reason, Cwallet is looking to empower the unbanked community by granting them access to online payments without the use of credit cards,” he said.

Cwallet has won the very first ‘Qatar Fintech Hub Hackathon’ and is currently competing as one of the 20 shortlisted startups globally for the ‘IOE & Seedstars Migration Challenge’.

“Aside from funding achievements Cwallet has also established numerous strategic partnerships with local and global players, including one of the largest money transfer services in the world with a worldwide network of 447,000 locations in 160 countries and over 1bn transfers securely sent.

“The fintech sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in the Middle East and is expected to receive a boost as the region slowly shifts towards being a cashless society,” Javier added.