After nearly 12 months of testing, robo-advisory firm Sarwa has become the first participant to graduate from the Dubai Financial Services Authority’s (DFSA) sandbox.
Sarwa’s services much like most robo-advisor offers consumers automated investing that matches the user’s risk appetite with a range of investment portfolios. It was also dubbed to be the first to allow for a fully digital account opening in UAE’s wealth space.
Most recently the company saw their Pre-Series A raised at US$ 1.3 million, which brings its total funding to a healthy level of US$ 1.5 million
Services like the ones offered by Sarwa has been said to democratise access to investments which can be restrictive for the average man on street due to high pricing model by banks.
According to the statements issued to Fintech News Middle East, during the testing period, the DFSA closely observed Sarwa as the company fine-tuned its automated business, while simultaneously developing its internal capabilities.
This included continuous monitoring, ongoing engagement and frequent feedback. The rigorous process allowed the DFSA to deepen its understanding of Sarwa’s underlying operating model, while the firm tested its services within a safe and controlled environment.
Commenting on the graduation, Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said
“When we first introduced the ITL programme our goal was to offer firms the flexibility to test their new business models and solutions, so they can develop innovative products and services to tackle the growing needs of the region’s financial services industry.
Sarwa’s progress is the first tangible demonstration that this goal can be achieved. We look forward to more firms following suit.”
The DFSA continues to encourage firms with innovative ideas to participate in its regulatory sandbox, particularly the 2018 winter cohort which is currenly accepting applications through the DFSA website.
The list of those accepted in the cohort will be finalised on 16 December, after which they may submit for an ITL application by 17 January 2019.