Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a leading international financial centre and top international business hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, announced that it has invested in four FinTech start-up companies.
The investment reflects the DIFC’s commitment to driving the future of finance and is part of the USD 100 million FinTech Fund launched in 2019 to help establish, grow and upscale start-up and growth stage FinTech companies seeking access to the MEASA markets.
The start-ups who applied for funding were evaluated by the DIFC FinTech Fund. Out of those shortlisted, four were selected for funding after a comprehensive review. As part of DIFC’s commitment to developing the sector, more applications will be evaluated and further investments will be made by the fund to be announced within a short period.
To scale up the four FinTech businesses, DIFC FinTech Fund invested in “FlexxPay”, a cloud-based B2B FinTech employee benefits platform allowing instant access to earned income; “Go Rise”, a unique start-up building a holistic and seamless financial services platform for 250 million global migrants, helping them get access to the full suite of financial products in domicile as well as home country; “NOW Money” provides payroll services to Gulf-based companies, and app-based accounts with physical debit card and remittance options for each of their lower-income workers; and “Sarwa”, a robo-advisory wealth management firm.
Commenting on the announcement, Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer, DIFC Authority said: “Our position as one of the world’s top ten FinTech hubs is strengthened by making investments in start-ups such as those we have announced today. The DIFC FinTech Fund accelerates the development of impactful FinTech firms, taking them a step further toward capitalising on the strong growth opportunities available in the region. Through investing and providing the region’s most comprehensive platform, we can drive innovation across MEASA’s financial services sector.”
Michael Truschler, CEO of FlexxPay said: “We are grateful to receive the trust and confidence from DIFC’s FinTech Fund, and we look forward to offering our services as a technology provider to the wider business community in the region. We strongly believe that in the near future everyone will have access to their earned income whenever they want. FlexxPay brings such an experience to companies and their employees today to build a truly global company with real impact on society and the overall economy of a country.”
Padmini Gupta, CEO of Go Rise said: “We are excited to be partnering with DIFC and MEVP in building a unique global migrant banking platform. Migrants in the GCC earn USD 150 billion a year and we are helping them better manage that income through partnerships with institutions regionally and in migrant home countries. Migrants represent one of the region’s biggest assets and in Go Rise we want to build the global migrant financial services leader.”
Ian Dillon, Co-founder of NOW Money said: “We are delighted to welcome DIFC to the NOW Money family and look forward to sharing more on our partnership throughout 2020.”
Mark Chahwan, CEO of Sarwa said: “Sarwa was born in the DIFC, as one of the companies in the first cohort of the DIFC FinTech Hive and was the first firm to be granted an Innovation Testing License. Today, Sarwa continues its growth and expansion yet again with the help and support of DIFC. We are thrilled to have such a strategic partner/investor that was part of our journey from the beginning. This is a testament to the team's hard work to make smart investing available to the region. We are continuously improving our features and adding new products to our existing compelling list to help everyone build for a better future.”
DIFC is already home to the largest, most developed FinTech ecosystem in the region and is continuing to deliver upon the Centre’s blueprint for diversifying and transforming the financial services industry. Its sustained focus on financial sector innovation is enabling the DIFC to help deliver Dubai’s ambitious growth agenda, while supporting the economic vision of Dubai and the UAE.