Watch Out for These 7 Homegrown Robo-Advisory Platforms in the Middle East

Watch Out for These 7 Homegrown Robo-Advisory Platforms in the Middle East

Robo-advisory platforms in the Middle East are quickly taking off, with a number of local players having recently joined the onrush.

Robo-advisory platforms provide users with financial advice and portfolio management solutions through algorithms. These algorithms churn user data and personal preferences to provide advisory and tracking solutions, essentially automating the financial planning process for users.

The technology is particularly useful to new investors, who want to tap into the increased access to financial markets, but are still figuring out their portfolio strategy. This group of amateur investors, or the mass affluent group, have taken to investing en masse last year as their savings piled up, leading to a wave of first-time retail investors flooding global financial markets.

This trend is true for the Middle East as well, but locally, banking and wealth management solutions cater largely to HNWIs. This means that the mass affluent demographic has limited support to their investment strategy, a gap that robo-advisory platforms (both local and international) in the Middle East have stepped up to address.

Here are seven such homegrown robo-advisory platforms in the Middle East for you to know.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article should not be considered as financial or investment advice.

Robo-advisory platforms in the Middle East

1. Sarwa (UAE)

Dubai-headquartered robo-advisory platform Sarwa provides curated portfolios, including conventional, halal and Bitcoin offerings. The company also holds a fintech expermit to provide its solutions in Saudi Arabia through a sandbox.

Sarwa was the first company to graduate from the Dubai Financial Services Authority’s sandbox. Earlier this year, the company had raised US$15 million in a Series B round and also launched a zero-commission trade service in the UAE.

2. FinaMaze (UAE)

Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, FinaMaze launched its AI-powered hybrid robo-advisory solution for the MENA region at the Fintech Abu Dhabi festival last year. The AI aspect of the platform works to identify the natural financial behaviour, risk appetite and goals of each investor.

In June this year, FinaMaze launched two new smart portfolio themes, Cryptocurrency and Inflation Protection, alongside previously launched smart portfolios. The platform will be opening up to prime retail investors with a minimum of US$2,000 to invest, the company said in November.

3. Derayah Smart (Saudi Arabia)

Derayah Smart is a hybrid robo-advisory platform that provides retail investors with access to a globally diversified and multi-assets-based strategy managed by investment specialists.

The solution was launched this year by Riyadh-based financial services firm Derayah Financial. As a hybrid platform, aspects such as defining investment objectives on the platform are automated, while an advisory team manages the investments themselves.

4. NBK Capital SmartWealth (Kuwait)

smartwealth nbk

SmartWealth is a robo-advisory solution developed and launched by the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK). Launched in 2019, the platform provides tailored investment plans for users based on their financial obligations and goals.

Users can choose from different products, including global, multi asset investing, thematic investing, or NBK Capital funds. The platform also features a premium SmartWealth Black service for users that invest US$100,000 across their SmartWealth accounts.

5. CBD Investr (UAE)

CBD Investr is a robo-advisory solution launched by the Commercial Bank of Dubai in conjunction with Belgium-based wealth tech company InvestSuite. Unveiled in April this year, the solution allows retail investors to start investing with a minimum of US$500.

Asset classes provided by CBD Investr include portfolios of stocks, bonds and other asset classes using low-cost exchange traded funds (ETFs). Portfolios are customised based on goals, risk appetite and investment time horizon.

6. Haseed Invest (Saudi Arabia)

Haseed Invest provides investment opportunities in globally diversified Islamic assets using ETFs and mutual funds. The platform caters specifically to fully sharia compliant assets.

The company was granted the fintech expermit by Saudi Arabia’s Capital Markets Authority (CMA) to test its solution in 2019. It offers a personalised investment portfolio based on its smart risk assessment algorithm, and also manages trading and rebalancing of assets.

7. Magnus (Turkey)

Magnus is a Turkey-based AI portfolio optimisation and investment platform. It provides personalised asset allocation and investment recommendations through algorithms based on advanced estimation methods.

Magnus is built for a range of users, including individual investors, portfolio advisors and larger banks. Users can create multiple investment portfolios and set optimisation goals and constraints, as well as create custom portfolios.

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