Forbes Middle East has released its selection of 2022’s top 25 fintech companies in the region, recognizing the Middle East’s most successful public and private fintech firms.
The list features firms that are applying technology to financial sectors including payments, insurance, blockchain and cryptocurrency, digital banking, investing and wealth management, and lending and personal financing, providing a selection of the most notable fintech companies based on the growth they’ve witnessed over the past year, the volume of transactions they have processed, their customer base, and total funding, among other key criteria.
To get a better view of the Middle East’s booming fintech startup scene, we’ve curated the top ten private fintech companies that made Forbes Middle East’s 2022 selection, recognizing the region’s most innovative fintech startups in their respective field that are leading sectors such as insurtech, payments, online wealth management, business lending, and cryptocurrency.
Headquartered in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Beehive is a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform launched in 2014. Regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the company provides digital finance solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), connecting them with a crowd of investors. Since its launch, the platform has enabled businesses to borrow more than AED 1 billion (US$272 million), with more than half of that sum (US$120 million) disbursed in 2021, according to Forbes Middle East. The company had 15,500 users, as of July 2022.
In June 2022, Beehive was granted a license to operate its P2P lending platform in Oman, adding the country to the list of jurisdictions it operates in alongside the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The company has raised US$15.5 million so far, its latest fundraising being a US$4 million follow on investment as a part of a Series B round.
Founded in 2015 and headquartered in the UAE, BitOasis claims it is the largest and most trusted cryptocurrency platform in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The company operates in 14 countries in MENA, allowing traders and investors to easily and safely exchange and trade more than 60 cryptocurrencies.
As of July 2022, BitOasis had over 200,000 registered customers, according to Forbes Middle East. The company claims it has recorded over US$4 billion in trading volume to date, of which US$1.7 billion was generated in 2021.
BitOasis is registered as a Virtual Asset Service Provider with the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Central Bank of the UAE. The company received its Financial Services Permission to operate a Multilateral Trading Facility in/from the Abu Dhabi Global Market in 2021. In March 2022, it received provisional approval from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA).
BitOasis closed a US$30 million Series B last year.
Established in 2011 and headquartered in Jordan, MadfootatCom is an online, real-time bill presentment and payment system which enables customers to inquire about and pay their bills and payments anytime, anywhere. The company partners with most banks and billers in Jordan to provide friction-free customer experiences, shortened collection cycles
As of November 2021, MadfooatCom’s eFAWATEERcom platform, established in partnership with the Central Bank of Jordan, had processed over 84 million invoices valued at more than JOD 30 billion (US$42 billion).
According to Forbes Middle East, MadfooatCom processed transactions worth US$13.3 billion in 2021, and has 3.5 million active users and over one million app downloads.
Founded in 2018 in Egypt as a ride-sharing and delivery app, MNT-Halan has grown a super-app and the country’s leading fintech ecosystem.
Today, the company provides digital banking services to unbanked customers, including small and micro-business lending, payments, consumer finance, bill payments, e-commerce, buy now, payer later (BNPL), and delivery services, claiming one million monthly active users and over 4 million customers, of which 3.1 million financial clients and 1.8 million borrowers. It says it has disbursed US$2 billion in total loans since its launch, and processes more than US$125 million in transactions each month.
MNT-Halan closed US$120 million in funding last year, and acquired in June 2022 business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce platform Talabeyah to add a fast-moving consumer goods offering to its merchant network.
Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Kuwait, MyFatoorah is the developer of a financial platform intended to simplify payments. The company’s platform simplifies the process to create invoices and collect payments and has quick deposit times through all major banks, enabling users to improve their cash flow and make secured payments.
Services provided and methods supported include electronic invoices, QR code payments, and POS terminals.
Besides Kuwait, MyFatoorah also has operations in Egypt, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan, according to Forbes Middle East. The company has clients in the US and Europe as well, and claims having processed transactions of nearly US$2.9 billion in 2021.
Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Dubai, PayTabs is an award-winning payments solutions provider. Using API plugins, PayTabs facilitates seamless e-commerce, m-commerce, and social commerce solutions for merchants and super merchants, allowing them to “plug and play” payment features onto their websites such as digital invoicing, QR code payments, and social media payment links.
Most recently, the company launched PT Touch, the ﬁrst SoftPOS solution in MENA that transforms smartphones into merchant POS terminals, Paymes, a social commerce platform to ease payments for micro merchants, and PayTabs SwitchOn, an unified payments and transaction processing platform.
PayTabs has offices in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and has a presence in other locations including Egypt. According to Forbes Middle East, the company processed over US$4 billion worth of transactions in 2021.
Founded in Saudi Arabia in 2016, Rasan is a leading insurtech startup that offers insurance and banking solutions through Tameeni, an insurance sales platform that allows retail customers to compare insurance prices and coverage, and purchase policies, and Treza, a car leasing insurance platform, among other solutions.
Since 2017, Rasan’s platforms have attracted approximately eight million users at a daily traffic rate close to 25,000 leads, the company claims. In 2021, customers bought insurance policies worth over US$674 million through its platforms, according to Forbes Middle East.
Rasan closed a US$24 million funding round last year to develop and roll out new technology products, and increase the differentiation of Rasan’s insurtech portfolio.
Founded in 2017 and headquartered in the UAE, Sarwa is an investment and personal finance startup. The company provides three main products: Sarwa Invest, an hybrid robo-advisory platform; Sarwa Trade, a zero commission stock trading service; and Sarwa Crypto, which allows users to buy, sell and hold crypto with no transfer fee and no account minimums.
According to Forbes Middle East, Sarwa has more than 100,000 registered users. Last year, the startup raised US$15 million in a Series B funding round, bringing its total funding to about US$25 million.
Founded in 2020 and headquartered in Saudi Arabia, Tamara is a BNPL provider that allows online and in-store shoppers in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Kuwait to split payments across three installments with no fees and no interest. The company works with thousands of leading retailers including SHEIN, Namshi, Swarovski, Ikea and Faces.
According to Forbes Middle East, Tamara processed transactions worth a total of US$267 million in 2021, and today counts three million active users.
It’s one of the region’s most well-funded fintech startups, having raised a total of US$116 million. Its latest round was a US$110 million Series A closed last year.
Tarabut Gateway (UAE)
Established in 2017, Tarabut Gateway is MENA’s first and largest regulated open banking platform that connects a regional network of banks and fintechs via a universal API. The platform allows third-party financial services providers to access financial data and develop new apps and services. For banks, it allows them to accelerate technological partnerships and innovation at reduced costs.
Tarabut Gateway started out in Bahrain but later moved its headquarters to Dubai. The company started expanding throughout MENA in October 2020, establishing market presences in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
In June 2022, Tarabut Gateway was selected by the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) as its preferred technical platform partner for its new Open Finance Lab, an initiative aimed at educating and engaging banks, regulators and fintechs on the opportunities brought about open finance.
Tarabut Gateway has raised US$25 million in funding and is one of the region’s most well-funded fintech startups.
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