MERQ receives first financing round for its AI product ‘Sally’

15 Apr 2019

MERQ has received the first post-establishment financing round to develop its products, notably ‘Sally’, the first Chatbot through Facebook’s social networking platform to introduce the Egyptian community to all credit card systems within the country.

The first financing round was funded by Ahmed Kamal Selim, a financial investor, with a minority stake in the company valued at $800,000.

“We are delighted to have been able to complete our first financing round shortly after the launch of our first product into the market, namely, ‘Sally’. This financing allows us to expand our service offerings within the financial services ecosystem and supports our expansion plans in the country,” said Walid Ghalwash, founder and CEO of MERQ.

Ghalwash added that they are targeting with their investor another round of financing during the third quarter of 2019 to launch two new products within the framework of financial services that support the state’s vision for financial inclusion.

Sally @SallyCreditCard provides users with comprehensive information when deciding on different credit cards available across various banks through its Artificial Intelligence (AI) Chatbot offered through Facebook messenger.

Selim said that the investment in MERQ comes from his personal interest in AI and financial inclusion that is set in the state’s priorities to keep abreast of the global digital economy.

He explained that he views MERQ as an attractive business model which meets the needs of users interested in a range of financial services and queries starting off with credit card services.

Furthermore, Selim has over two decades of experience in the financial and industrial sector, which extends widely to retail, corporate, investment banking, research, brokerage, and restructuring services at domestic and multinational corporations.

Selim currently sits as an executive member of Arafa Investment and Consultancy (Arafa Holding), a non-executive board member of The Bird Group in the United Kingdom, and a non-executive board member of the Foral Group in Italy. Previously, he was the CEO and board member of Drive Finance: a pioneer in the field of financing and car sales in Egypt.

Sally has received international attention and support due to the belief in the need for financial inclusion and financial literacy. The product has received technical support from IBM Global to contribute providing and improving resources and tools to offer services with an international standard quality of service.

The company, founded by Ghalwash, aims to cover various topics of financial literacy in banking and non-banking services, delivering true financial inclusion by assisting the Egyptian public in making financial decisions by raising their awareness of the banking and financial sectors in view of the state’s strategy to support AI.


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