The Middle East has been ramping up its efforts to fund fintech initiatives lately, seemingly throughout their life cycles until they become a corporation. Jordan’s Arab Bank is prepared to give out something between $1 million to $3 million to promising fintech startups with some traction—or up to $250,000 of seed capital for those that aren’t quite there yet.
The new venture fund worth $30 million is projected to launch before the end of October, according to Reuters, and fully-owned by the bank.
Very curiously, the fund is reportedly registered in the Cayman Islands, a known tax haven that usually appeals to fully digital banks. The decision was probably made to ensure that the fund faces minimal taxes and allocated to more fintech firms.
The bank would be investing into fintech firms that would, in turn, help the bank update their operations—like blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics and API interfaces that could offer revenue-sharing opportunities.
Without coincidence, these are the fields that are of keen interest in fintech hubs across the globe, particularly blockchain and variations of artificial intelligence. The fund could hint of the bank’s interest in collaborating with fintech startups to catch up to global trends, instead of attempting to develop their own in-house solutions.
Funding Those With Experience, and Accelerating Those Without
Arab Bank will also launch an Arab Bank Innovation hub, a co-creation space for the banks to incubate local fintech companies. This launch will be followed by an AB Accelerator Programme before the year ends, where the bank will spend up to 6 months mentoring a curated group of fintech startups.
The startups joining the accelerator could see seed funding of up to $250,000 from the bank. Arab Bank is reportedly already in talks with over 100 companies in hopes of finding the right 6 candidates for its accelerator programme.
Featured Image via Arab Bank