This Middle Eastern Startup Is Getting Big In India

Author: Regina Mihindukulasuriya

The need to fight fraud online came when PayTabs founder Abdulaziz Aljouf saw millions of money wiped out from an account. There were probably some tears involved too.

What’s special about PayTabs is not that it comes from a relatively small gulf nation or that most of its market is in the Saudi. It’s that it has managed to make India its second biggest market. Not bad for a fintech startup coming out of an ecosystem that’s just beginning to recognize the value of technology and local digital companies.

Across India it already has about 3000 merchants. India is a tough market to crack for anyone, even for big companies like Uber and Amazon; neither is a definite, undeniable market leader in their respective industries. Most of its Indian clients are IT companies that have clients in the UK and US. According to Aljouf, 9.5% of transactions in India happen via PayPal and 4.5% of transactions happen via PayTabs. “It took two and a half years to get into India. It took about a year to the proper licenses to start operations,” says Aljouf.

There’s also talks of taxing from the Indian government that won’t be happy news for payment gateways.

However things are expanding for PayTabs in India. The founder was recently in Mumbai looking at possible locations for setting up a dedicated office here in India, the first outside the Middle East. Sources say they also have acquired Juspay, an Indian payment gateway. Talks are underway to acquire two or three other Indian companies and Aljouf hopes to have definitive announcements in the next 3 months. These acquisitions are going to be of companies that can help increase acquisition of American customers, SMEs and schools here in India along with overall expertise in how to better leverage the Indian payments

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