Turkish neobank Papara targets 50 million users by 2024
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Turkish neobank Papara targets 50 million users by 2024

After reaching 10 million users this month, the firm is raising funds and seeking licences in Turkey and the EU.

Photo: iStock

Bootstrapped Turkish neobank Papara has 10 million customers and will reach 50 million in the next three years, chief executive and founder Ahmed Karsli tells Euromoney.

Papara will be one of the first to apply for a bank licence under new Turkish legislation for digital lenders, drafted by Ankara this August. Papara is licensed in Turkey as an electronic money company, but it could soon offer a full range of banking services to retail and small and medium-sized enterprise customers, after the new digital bank legislation comes into force early next year.

Unlike most neobanks in developed markets, Papara has been profitable since it was founded in 2016. It is cash-flow positive on a monthly basis. Thanks to that income, it is a bootstrapped company, meaning its growth has not relied on external funding up to now.

We don’t want people in suits and ties in the team
Ahmed Karsli, Papara

It is now raising funds, according to Karsli, for the strategic help, expertise and validation this would bring in areas such as governance. Nevertheless, despite rumours of Austria’s Raiffeisen buying a stake, Karsli says this would not be from an incumbent bank.

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