DIFC procures stakes in 4 promising FinTech startups

The four FinTech start-ups had applied for funding and were chosen after a thorough review by DIFC

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has invested in four FinTech start-up companies. The investment echoes the center’s dedication to pushing the future of finance and is part of the US$100 million FinTech Fund launched in 2019.

The FinTech Fund was begun to support the setup, growth and upscaling of the start-ups and growth-stage of FinTech businesses attempting entrance to the MEASA markets.

The start-ups who applied for funding were assessed by the DIFC FinTech Fund. The four firms, FlexxPay (a cloud-based B2B employee benefits platform), Go Rise (creating a financial services platform for 250 million global migrants), NOW Money (offers payroll services to Gulf-based companies) and Sarwa (a wealth management advisory firm.) were all chosen for investment 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,” the official statement stated.

Commenting on the announcement, Arif Amiri, DIFC Authority Chief Executive Officer, said,

Arif Amiri
CEO – DIFC Authority

“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 capitalizing 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, responded, “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.”

The fund has also spent on ‘Go Rise,’ a different start-up developing a holistic and seamless financial services platform for 250 million global migrants, assisting them to get access to the full suite of financial products in domicile as well as the home 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 US$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.”

The two other FinTech firms elected for funding were ‘NOW Money,’ which renders payroll services to Gulf-based companies, and app-based accounts with a physical debit card and remittance options for each of their lower-income workers and ‘Sarwa,’ a robo-advisory wealth management firm.

“We are delighted to welcome DIFC to the NOW Money family and look forward to sharing more on our partnership throughout 2020,” said Ian Dillon, Co-founder of NOW Money.

For his part, Sarwa CEO Mark Chahwan 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,” Mr. Chahwan appended.