Sarwa, a Dubai-based investment advisory platform that enables people to make investment allows people to make investments automated investment platform where the users can also access expert human advice from financial advisors to make their investment decisions, has launched its Halal and Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) portfolios, it announced today, adding that it has also lowered the minimum to open an account to $500 (was previously $2,500). Sarwa had become the first participant to graduate from Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) regulatory sandbox in November last year.
The startup had gone through twelve months of an intensive testing period with DFSA. Two months before graduating from DFSA, Sarwa had raised $1.3 million in a Pre-Series A round from Shorooq Investments, Women’s Angel Investor Network, 500 Startups, Hala Ventures, Saned Partners and some other individual investors.
“Investors today look for value-based investing without compromising the performance of their portfolios. Through the newly launched products, Sarwa allows anyone to invest while staying true to their values and cultures – this includes investing in well-diversified socially responsible products and halal portfolios,” said the startup announcing launch of Halal and SRI portfolios.
Their Halal portfolios, per statement, are created especially for those complying with Islamic values and exclude companies profiting from industries like alcohol, gambling, tobacco, pork, interest, and others. The Socially Responsible Investing portfolios enable offer people a way to invest in socially conscious initiatives from around the world.
Mark Chahwan, Co-founder and CEO of Sarwa, said, “At Sarwa, we believe that people should be able to invest in their values as well as their goals. With both Halal and SRI portfolios, they now have the ability to do so. We’re so excited to launch these in the region after all the demand we received from the GCC and expat investor community. Being based in the UAE and serving the MENA region, the market for Halal portfolios is large but underserved. We realized there was a gap in the market, and we wanted to seize the opportunity to simplify their financial lives with the same philosophy and client service.”
Speaking about their decision to bring the account minimum to $500, Mark added, “The reason we started Sarwa in the first place was to democratize investing and make it accessible to everyone. Traditional investors only accept clients with a minimum of $100,000 to open an account. We don’t agree with that and want to be able to serve young investors who are building their careers. We also know that clients want to try us out first to experience the service. By bringing down the account minimum to $500, they can do so now.”
Since graduating from DFSA, Sarwa has opened up its platform for investing to just anyone from around the world with few exceptions based on international banking restrictions.