10 Fintech Startups in Dubai and Abu Dhabi You Have to Know15. April 2018
The fintech market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is predicted to enter a new era of growth. By 2022, startups in the region are set to attract US$2.5 billion in deals, according to a new study by MENA Research Partners (MRP).
The research estimates that the MENA fintech market will witness an annual growth of US$125 million until 2022, driven by investors interest in the region’s fintech opportunity. By 2020, MENA is predicted to be hosting some 252 startups.
“In the last six years, the landscape of major funding players has been changing,” said Anthony Hobeika, CEO of MRP.
“While in 2010 funding of fintech was provided exclusively by venture capital firms, it is clear today that there is a shift to new funding vehicles such as accelerators, private equity institutions, corporation, banks and angel investors among others, highlighting the increased interest in fintech by a broader range of investors.”
In MENA, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in particular is poised to become a fintech leader, fueled by government support, a large accelerator ecosystem and a pool of venture capital firms looking to tap into the thriving fintech scene.
Here are ten fintech startups in the UAE you have to keep an eye on.
Founded in 2012 and based in Dubai, Souqalmal.com is a leading financial products comparison platform in the Middle East with operations in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
Souqalmal.com compares more than 3,200 retail banking, telecoms, insurance and education products offered by various providers.
The startup has raised US$14.5 million in funding so far, according to Crunchbase.
Founded in 2014 and based in Dubai, Bayzat is an online health insurance and HR solutions provider.
The platform helps individuals and companies compare, buy and buy health insurance policies. When a policy is purchased, the customner receives free access to Bayzat Benefits and to all medical benefits on their mobile phone as well as select healthcare options within a policy while traveling.
For HR professionals, Bayzat Benefits automates administrative work, allowing them to easily manage employee records and medical insurance.
The startup has raised US$12.6 million in funding so far.
Founded in 2014, Beehive is a peer-to-peer lending platform for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the first platform to be regulated in MENA.
Beehive connects investors with UAE businesses looking for loans. Beehive has financed more than US$50 million worth of loans since launch.
The startup has raised US$10.5 million in funding so far.
Headquartered in Dubai and founded in 2011, Yallacompare, formerly Compareit4me, is a financial comparison platform that helps users find and compare credit cards, personal loans, mortgages, car loans, insurance and bank accounts from a wide range of local and international banks and financial institutions.
Yallacompare is live in nine countries: the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Oman.
Yallacompare has raised US$10.1 million in funding so far.
Founded in 2013, Eureeca is a crowdinvesting platform connecting online investors to businesses to raise capital from a group of investors in exchange for equity. The platform serves as an alternative financing option to more traditional financing soures such as banks and venture capital firms.
Eureeca was first launched in Dubai, then the company expanded worldwide with offices in London, Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur.
Eureeca has raised US$7.1 million in funding so far.
Founded in 2015, Remitr is a money transfer app by Remitware Payments, a global remittance company with offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Toronto.
Remitware Payments provides an online service that allows individuals and businesses to send money abroad. Remitr is money transfer platform for cross-border payments for family expenses, higher educations, investments, loan repayments, insurance, utility bills payments, travel bookings and more.
Founded in 2017, OneGram is a Dubai-based startup that uses blockchain technology to create a new kind of cryptocurrency, where each coin is backed by one gram of gold.
OneGram has already issued millions of dollars worth of its cryptocurrency through an initial coin offering (ICO), representing about 40% of the total allocation. It aims to raise more than US$500 million.
Founded in 2015 and based in Dubai, Democrance is an insurtech startup that provides an insurance marketplace for the underserved. The startup partners with insurance companies and mobile operators to offer insurance products to the underserved microinsurance market in MENA.
Democrance raised US$800,000 in its first external funding round in October 2017. Most recently, it entered a partnership with ADA, a United Nations (UN) specialized agency, to develop a sustainable microinsurance model for low income migrants working in the UAE. It secured a US$500,000 grant to develop the project.
Based in Dubai, Bridg is a smartphone payment platform. Bridg provides custom-built communication technology that allows smartphones to send and receive money while offline via common technologies such as Bluetooth. The company partners with local gateways and processors to enable fast deployment across the global landscape.
Bridg was accelerated by the Fintech Hive at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
Founded in 2016, Sarwa is a robo advisory startup which provides “the first hybrid automated investment management platform for young professionals in the Middle East.”
The company claims it aims to make investing simple and affordable by “combining proven investment strategies with technology that drives down costs.”
Sarwa is based in Dubai and has also been accelerated by the Fintech Hive.
UAE Fintech Startup Map
You can download the Startup Map including report here.