Dapi began with a question — how could fintech applications be built in emerging markets? All three co-founders of the company struggled as they realized that the MENA region lacked the infrastructure necessary to integrate bank information into financial applications. Mohammed Aziz was trying to build a personal financial management application, while Ahmed Agour was working on a fractional investment platform, and at the same time Hesham Ghandour built a peer-to-peer payment application in Egypt. All three of them were stuck without a preexisting way to connect their applications to banks.
As Mohammed and Ahmed, who had previously studied at university together, discussed their projects they quickly realized that they faced the same problem. In April 2019, the two decided to come together and work on creating a simple way to connect users’ bank information to any financial applications. Their team, made up of just 4 people at the time, focused on one mission — proving that their concept worked. Their first demo used a version of the API that could only send money to one bank account. But that was enough. Dapi worked.
The company raised their seed round that was led by Beco Capital and Class 5 global in October, and as a result Dapi was accepted into Y Combinator’s Winter 2020 Batch. The program provided Dapi with exposure to American investors and a sense of demand for the company’s services. Beyond MENA, many regions in the world need the technological infrastructure to build financial applications and improve accessibility of financial services.
In January 2020, as Mohammed was about to get on a flight to California to attend Week 1 at Y — Combinator, he called Hesham, who had just won the Y — Combinator Startup Award with his peer to peer payment application. The call quickly expanded in scope, and lasted 2.5 hours, as Mohammed almost missed his flight. Mohammed and Hesham realized that they were both, yet again, trying to solve the same problem. They met up a couple of weeks later, once Mohammed came back from the US, to discuss synergy between the two companies. Their conversation very quickly escalated from potential collaborations to realizing that Hesham should become the third co-founder of Dapi.
The first commercial version of the company came out in February 2020. The first client was Denarii Cash, an application built by Filipino overseas workers in the UAE who wanted to find an easy, cost-effective way for other overseas workers to send money back home. The product has turned out to be highly in demand. As of July 2020, more than 1 million USD has been transferred through Dapi’s system.
Dapi is now working to expand our client base and serve our mission: provide the building blocks for a thriving fintech ecosystem in emerging markets around the world. Dapi’s API is the bridge between financial applications and banks, empowering developers to create digital wallets, budget trackers, investment applications and more. Mohammed, Ahmed, and Hesham tirelessly ensure that anyone else that can build any financial application they want.