The Innovative Startups and SMEs Fund (ISSF) – the largest investment fund of its kind in Jordan – has announced a direct investment of $150,000 in Solfeh; a fintech micro-lending online platform that offers emergency cash advancements to salaried employees.
The investment, which was made in January 2021, underscores the strategy of the ISSF to support 150-200 local innovation companies through direct and indirect investments (the latter in investment funds) and build the capacities of at least 825 entrepreneurs and SMEs through specialised training to qualify them for prospective investments.
Solfeh presents socioeconomically sustainable financial and commercial services that benefit employees and business owners alike. This is achieved through the delivery of emergency micro-loans to salaried staff in coordination with their companies – with amounts ranging from JOD 200 to JOD 1,000 and a flexible tenor of up to 25 months via a fully automated process that takes a maximum of 30 minutes for users to secure their money – in accordance with advanced IT solutions and financial technologies.
Solfeh specifically targets low-income companies and facilitates their continuity and sustainability by enabling them to maintain their liquidity, cash reserves and human resources. Meanwhile, employees of these establishments can request a loan without the need for a guarantor and select their suitable payment scheme, after which the business owner either approves or declines the application, with the option of directly overseeing and following up on the instalment plan.
“By extending innovative solutions that deploy the latest financial technologies to serve both individuals and organisations, Solfeh has firmly succeeded in meeting our requirements for direct investment. Supporting youth who possess notable entrepreneurial potential and promising creative ideas in the early stages is not just part of our mission, but is also fundamental for driving national socioeconomic advancement and fostering an inclusive local ecosystem that positions Jordan as a regional hub for innovation and entrepreneurship,” commented ISSF CEO, Laith Al Qasem.
Solfeh CEO, Ali Tabbalat, said, “Solfeh has been one of the first companies within the entrepreneurial arena to build a fintech platform that finances salaried public and private sector employees through its application, thereby saving them time, effort and cost, and helping them address emergency situations in cooperation with their employers. With the investment of the ISSF, we are now able to further enhance our product offering and expand geographically, therefore providing greater benefit to all involved parties.”
The ISSF is registered as a Jordanian private shareholding company. The objective of the ISSF is to support and elevate Jordan’s entrepreneurial and innovation landscape by facilitating the establishment of new investment funds that serve the ecosystem; making direct investments in innovative, export-oriented and scalable local startups; as well as implementing initiatives that improve the capabilities of Jordanian entrepreneurs and startup teams through training, capacity building and targeted incubation and acceleration programmes.