DIFC FinTech Hive, the first and largest financial technology accelerator in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, announced the expansion of the business and innovation space within the Centre.
The increased physical footprint of DIFC FinTech Hive reflects the exponential growth in fintech and innovation startups and increased demand for mentorship, knowledge-sharing, funding and direct access to leading global financial institutions. The expanded space within the Centre will house a new event area playing host to events and large scale workshops, whilst the increased co-working area will accommodate additional start-ups, scale-ups and entrepreneurs, enabling them to capitalise on sector growth.
The additional space will further bolster the DIFC’s dynamic ecosystem and allow ambitious organisations to unlock opportunities to develop, test and modify their innovations in collaboration with top executives and world-leading financial institutions as part of a forward-thinking professional community.
Three acceleration programmes now conduct operations from the space within the Centre, including FinTech Accelerator programme for growth stage start-ups looking for accelerated market access opportunities, FinTech Hive Scale Up programme which will enable series A start-ups access to VCs and strategic investment partners to support their regional scale ambitions and early stage programme that will support start-ups with seed funding and support in ideation and development phases.
Launched in January 2017, DIFC FinTech Hive has grown to become a hub of innovation, leading the MEASA region’s efforts to transform the future of finance. The accelerator programme supported by 21 financial industry partners, attracts leading technology entrepreneurs and innovation start-ups through an intensive, competitive process to participate in a 12-week curriculum that enables growth-stage start-ups expand in the MEASA region. The programme also helps start-ups tailor their businesses to meet local demand and enter the MEASA market with fresh ideas while gaining a network of financial industry contacts to help implement their solutions.
The expansion follows the launch of the new funding accelerator programme FinTech Hive Scale Up in January 2020 which enables Series A+ start-up companies to grow through developing strategic partnerships and accessing investment resources through the DIFC FinTech Hive ecosystem. Supported by six leading investment partners – Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), Etisalat, DIFC FinTech Fund, Dubai Cultiv8, FALCOM Financial Services and NIcapital, scale-ups gain access to the dynamic DIFC ecosystem and benefit from faster access to growth.
The space will also house Startupbootcamp which announced plans to accelerate start-ups working in a range of fields impacting financial services innovation, such as artificial and machine intelligence, distributed ledger technologies during the next three years.
Commenting on the expansion of DIFC FinTech Hive, Saleh Al Akrabi, Chief Executive Officer, DIFC Property Management, said:
“Over the past few years we have invested heavily in the future of finance, giving business access to capital as the primary gateway to the region. FinTech companies, RegLab innovators and pioneering entrepreneurs seeking to launch operations, can now benefit from a new expanded space in the heart of Gate Avenue to scale their business and capitalise on the wealth of opportunities for FinTech in the MEASA.
“DIFC continues to be the region’s largest and most comprehensive financial ecosystem at the heart of the new Dubai Future District, aligning with our dedication to transforming the future of finance. The expansion of DIFC FinTech Hive is a reflection of our commitment to reinforce Dubai’s position as one of the world’s top ten FinTech hubs, attract major global players from across markets and technologies and drive the future of finance through an enabling business environment.”
The Centre continuously develops its Venture Capital ecosystem, as well as investing directly into promising start-ups. In March 2019, the Centre announced the appointment of Middle East Venture Partners and Wamda Capital to manage $10 million of its dedicated $100 million FinTech Fund. The Centre’s thriving community benefits from the strong relationships the DIFC builds with key international accelerators through ongoing delegations, strategic agreements and mutually beneficial partnerships with key global financial centres.