An Islamic FinTech start-up IMAN closes $1 million in seed funding to introduce a new financial product that is Shariah-compliant. The new platform uses technology to democratize access to finance in line with Muslims’ religious views and faith.
Founded by Rustam Rahmatov and Mark Zubov, IMAN introduces a tailored mobile platform for Muslim majority markets consisting of IMAN Invest, an investment platform, and IMAN Pay, a halal BNPL (buy-now-pay-later) solution, built around a vision to become one of the leading halal FinTech companies in the Muslim world.
IMAN is unique in the BNPL domain as it not only provides halal BNPL but also builds halal funding sources for services such as investing and shopping from IMAN via merchants through a “cost-plus” financing structure (“Murabaha”). At the same time, there is a separate Islamic purchase/sale agreement with the merchant. Also, IMAN does not generate revenue from late fees or other charges that are conditional upon users missing payments.
The $1 million round, announced on February 22, was completed by a group of eight VC and institutional investment funds with the participation of Battery Road Digital Holdings, Tesla Capital, UZCARD Ventures, MyAsiaVC, Le Mercier’s Capital, Block0, Vector Crypto Capital, and IT-Park Investments. In addition, several angel investors from the UAE, United States, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Singapore have supported the company’s plans to make halal BNPL and investments everyday accessibility, first in Uzbekistan and then globally.
Rustam Rahmatov, Founder & CEO at IMAN said, “First and foremost, this investment will help us scale our technology to integrate seamlessly with retail partners across the different regions both online and offline to provide finance in seconds. Secondly, we’ll be able to roll out partnerships with merchants across all sectors more aggressively including beauty & fashion, FMCG, and services. And lastly, this investment empowers us to start exploring opportunities in other Muslim majority markets, including GCC, in early 2023. We are extremely excited to partner with our investors who have made investments in similar businesses in other geographies and bring with them a wealth of knowledge and expertise.”
The company is one of the few BNPL players that relies solely on halal sources of funding and allows people across the world to fund consumers’ purchases directly at the point of sale. To further accentuate its commitment to Islamic Finance principles, IMAN received compliance certification (“fatwa”) from the esteemed Islamic professor Dr. Ziyaad Muhammad of INCEIF (Malaysia) and the Muslim Board of Uzbekistan.