New York City-based Halal online investment platform Wahed has raised close to $8 million (£6 million) in its latest funding round at a valuation of ~$100 million (£75m), the startup announced yesterday. The investment came from Dubai-based BECO Capital and Boston-based Cue Ball Capital – both of which had invested in the company last year as well. This round takes total capital raised by Wahed close to $15.5 million (£12 million).
Founded by Junaid Wahedna in 2015, Wahed claims to be the first Shariah complaint automated investment platform in the world, allowing investors from different income brackets to invest their savings ethically. The users can start investing with as little as $100/£100.
The startup plans to use the latest funds for its international expansion.
Junaid Wahedna, founder and CEO of Wahed, commented, “After gaining positive traction in the US and UK, we are excited to be able to carry this momentum into the rest of the world through our international expansion. Wahed aspires to provide a non-lending based savings solution to over 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide and to play a lead role in fostering innovation in the growing Islamic Finance sector.”
Wahed is also in the process of obtaining an E-Money License from UK’s Financial Conduct Authority that will allow it to offer a practical solution to the millions of Muslims who do not wish to deposit their money with traditional bank. Currently, existing Islamic banks still function as lending institutions by using Shariah compliant lending structures, the statement noted.NYC-based Halal online investment platform Wahed raises ~$8 million at a valuation of ~$100 million Click To Tweet
“Our survey results show that 84% of respondents do not trust existing Islamic Banks as being truly Islamic. We want to offer a pure investment-based savings solution with no lending components,” said Wahed’s CEO.
In terms of international expansion, the company is looking at GCC and ASEAN markets as they have a young and growing demographic of Muslim consumers. They company has plans to launch in these markets but hasn’t specified a time-frame yet.
Amir Farha, Managing Partner at BECO Capital, speaking about the investment, said, “Junaid and his team at Wahed have continued to execute and build the global coverage of their offering in an extraordinary manner, giving access to a significant market that needs this service. The company is fast outpacing traditional incumbents and driving innovation in a sector that lags behind. We are very bullish on the vision and strategy that Wahed is pursuing globally and look forward to supporting Junaid as he pioneers this industry through technology.”