Over the last couple of weeks, the Middle East has been primarily focused on the groundbreaking Abraham Accord, which promises to bring peace and relations between Israel and the UAE for the first time ever. While most are focused on the normalization achievement between the oil-rich Emirates and the Startup Nation, an Israeli startup receives funding from a VC based in Dubai.

“I expect many more investments to follow”

Today (Wednesday), Israeli fintech startup Salaryo, which develops automated systems for small businesses to easily procure loans in the U.S., announced a $5.8 million funding round. The investment is composed of both equity and debt financing, with the former being led by KEN Investments, Michael Ullman’s investment group, and Techstars, while the debt financing was led by U.S. based Variant.

"The growing number of freelancers and small businesses requires new way of thinking in financial services," said Michael Ullmann. "By financially supporting these entrepreneurs early on, Salaryo is well positioned to offer them additional financial services as they grow."

KEN Investments is a VC fund with headquarters in Japan, and offices in Germany, Taiwan, and Dubai. According to CEO and co-founder Yair Levy, this is the first funding round completed thanks to the peace accord: “The ongoing peace talks between the two countries have removed the technical blockade, which has been holding back the deal… It’s a world first, and I expect many more investments to follow.”

Salaryo’s system is capable of running credit checks and uses different digital models that approve credit lines in a matter of minutes, unlike their bank counterparts that sometimes leave a customer hanging for weeks until credit is approved. The company which was founded in 2017 offers startups and freelancers financing to help secure shared workspaces. Currently, the company claims that the funding will be targeted at turning Salaryo into a digital bank for small business needs.

Salaryo CEO Yair Levy credit: Salaryo 

Salaryo was founded in 2017 by CEO Yair Levy, formerly CEO of the Israel-EU Chamber of Commerce; CTO Tomer Pearl; CPO Omri Avisar; Asaf Zagury and Itay Dressler, who are no longer active in the company. The company has 10 employees split between headquarters in New York and the company’s R&D center in Tel Aviv.  Salaryo has raised $12 million to date through both debt and equity funding.