(Bloomberg) -- The co-founder of a pioneering Egyptian buy-now, pay-later firm is targeting a market of more than 40 million bankcard holders with a new startup that offers on-the-spot approvals for deferred payments.

Sympl, whose chief executive officer co-created EFG Hermes’ Egyptian consumer finance app valU, seeks to cut the pre-registration, vetting and underwriting that similar services need, letting its approved merchants sell directly to customers at checkout via short-term, interest-free repayment plans. 

That’ll tap “under-served segments” of Egypt’s 100-million population with limited access to easy payment terms through consumer finance companies, CEO Mohamed Elfeky said. Sympl is backed by an undisclosed-sized investment from Middle Eastern venture capital firm A15.

Egypt’s financial tech and online payment market is booming, as the government of the most populous Arab country encourages more cashless transactions and e-commerce sales surge even as small retailers remain key and cash is king. State-run e-Finance is listing on Egypt’s stock exchange while Fawry for Banking & Payment Technology Services has just made its first foreign deal.

Egyptian startups saw about $194 million of investment in the first half of 2021, more than a quarter of the total for the entire Middle East and North Africa, Egypt’s Information Technology Industry Development Agency said in July.

Sympl’s other founders are Yasmine Mohmed Henna, who also helped set up valU, and Karim Tawfik, co-creator of business-to-business e-commerce platform Capiter. The latter company in August raised $33 million to fund regional and local expansion.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.