Investments

Dubai International Financial Center’s Fintech Fund invests in four startups: FlexxPay, Rise, Now Money & Sarwa

Dubai International Financial Center, a global financial center and regional fintech hub has invested in four startups through its $100 million Fintech Fund, it announced today. The startups that have received investments include FlexxPay, Rise, Now Money, and Sarwa, said the statement, without disclosing the financial details of the investment.

The fund that was first announced in 2017 and formally established in 2019, DIFC said, is designed to help startups operating in the financial services industry in the Middle East, Africa, & South Asia by providing growth capital, while also supporting their outreach and connections with the financial industry.

FlexxPay partners with businesses to offer their employees access to the earned part of their salaries and commissions, whenever needed, in the form of advances.

Rise provides banking and financial services inlcuding include no minimum balance bank accounts, remittances, consumer loans, and some insurance solutions, to the (low-income) unbanked and underbanked migrant workers in the United Arab Emirates.

Now Money provides payroll services to Gulf-based companies and app-based accounts with a physical debit card and remittance options for their low-income workers. Interestingly, Rise and Now Money have overlapping services but DIFC and its fund managers apparently were fine with investing in both the startups.

Sarwa is a robo-advisory platform that uses a combination of technology and human advice that allows an average user to invest their savings at a very low fee.

Arif Amiri, the Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority commenting on the occasion, said, “Our position as one of the world’s top ten Fintech hubs is strengthened by making investments in startups 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,” he added.

Zubair Naeem Paracha

Zubair Naeem Paracha

Founder at MENAbytes
A tech and startup enthusiast based in Lahore, Pakistan. Zubair apart from leading MENAbytes is also building Qraar, a career discovery and development platform for millennials in MENA. He can be reached on Linkedin, Twitter or zubair [at] menabytes [dot] com.
Zubair Naeem Paracha
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