The Global Social Network
Pakistani-American serial entrepreneur and NED alumnus Dr. Safwan Shah has raised $100 million in Series C funding for his financial technology (fintech) startup PayActiv Inc. based in Silicon Valley, California. The round was led by Eldridge Wealth Ltd, a venture capital firm headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut. PayActiv currently has a 200 member development team in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Dr. Safwan Shah, CEO PayActiv Inc.
PayActiv allows employees to draw accumulated pay or wages in real-time before the end of the pay period. Funds are moved to the employees bank account or card instantly. Unbanked employee can even get cash through a Walmart partnership. Employees can pay bills, call Uber, start savings, get financial coaching and much more. This fintech startup offers a low-cost alternative to Pay Day lenders and other financial institutions that charge employees exorbitant fees and high interest rates for loans against future paychecks. Safwan Shah's startup is solving a real economic problem faced by millions of poor Americans. PayActiv is serving more over 4 million employees at more than 1,000 businesses across retail, food services, business processing services, and over 400 senior living and healthcare businesses. Its clients include Walmart, Wayfair, Ibex Global and many others. Here's how Dr. Safwan Shah, CEO and Co-Founder of PayActiv, describes his business:
“American families are facing more financial stress than they have in generations. The timing gap between work and wages is the main reason workers get hit with punitive late fees, overdraft fees and other penalties. Cumulatively, these fees reduce wages by seven percent every month. The PayActiv platform is the only system where everyone wins: employers lift worker morale with little to no cost and huge dividends; employees get wages when they actually need them most; and cash re-enters the economy faster, making communities financially healthier.”
Dr. Safwan Shah graduated with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from NED University of Engineering in Karachi, Pakistan in 1985. After coming to the United States in 1989, Safwan received his Masters and Ph.D. degrees from University of Colorado at Boulder in 1990 and 1994 respectively.
Safwan started Infonox, a payment platform company, in 2005 and sold it to TSYS in 2008 for an undisclosed amount. He then started PayActiv in 2012.
NED University alumni Idris Kothari and Saeed Kazmi are among the early pioneering duo in the world of technology startups in Silicon Valley. Since 1980s, they have started, built and sold several technology companies, including VPNet, Silicon Design and VIA Technology. They are currently running Vertical Systems Inc. which has a development center in Pakistan.
Safwan Shah is one of the most successful entrepreneurs of Pakistani origin in Silicon Valley. Safwan Shah's startup is solving a real economic problem faced by millions of poor Americans. Like another successful NED alum Ashraf Habibullah of Computers and Structures Inc. (CSI), Safwan is also very generous with his time and money for NED University Alumni Association activities in Silicon Valley and elsewhere in the United States and the world. Safwan and Ashraf are among a handful of NED alumni in San Francisco Bay Area who have done very well and made fellow NED alumni take pride in their alma mater. Other successful NED alumni in Silicon Valley include Raghib Husain (Cavium/Marvel), Naveed Sherwani (SiFive), Rehan Jalil (Securiti.ai) and Khalid Raza (Viptela). They all serve to inspire NEDians everywhere.
Here's a video of Safwan Shah speaking at a Conscious Capitalism CEO Summit: