Financial Inclusion | September 11, 2023

myZoi clinches $14 million to support migrant workers in Gulf states

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, September 11 – Abu Dhabi-based fintech venture myZoi has found a significant need in the oil-rich Gulf: financial inclusion for the region’s tens of millions of low-income migrant workers. Workers in the region send as much as 80% of their income back to their home countries.

MyZoi provides a low-cost money transfer service. “Our drive is to make a meaningful difference not just in the lives of the underbanked, but their lifeline, which is their support network of families as well,” said myZOI’s Syed Muhammad Ali.

The company was incubated within Standard Chartered Bank’s venture group, SC Ventures which, with SBI Holdings, backed myZoi with $14 million to expand its financial services offerings.

MyZoi has secured two licenses from the Central Bank of the UAE. 

Foreign majority

Migrant workers from Africa and South Asia account for 70% of employed workers in Gulf countries, and 95% in Qatar and the UAE. Most work in construction, service jobs or domestic work. The Gulf’s “kafala” worker sponsorship system is rife with human rights abuses and racial and gender discrimination, and was the subject of extensive reporting during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.