Qatar FinTech Hub (QFTH), founded by Qatar Development Bank (QDB), has announced the final list of FinTech Startups to join Wave 5 of its Incubator and Accelerator Programs.
The series is part of QDB’s efforts to support startups in their entrepreneurial journey through various programs and venture capital investments. Since its launch in 2020, QFTH has played a key role in growing Qatar’s Fintech industry by graduating 57 FinTech Startups, with the cumulative valuation of portfolio startups coming up to $500 million. QDB’s commitment is evident by their commitment to investment in these FinTech Startups summing up to $6.46 million out with more than $4 million inclusive of cash and in-kind value that has already been disbursed.
Over 500 applications were received through the program application portal alone, out of which 290 were filtered based on their eligibility and relevancy to the program and the market. After a rigorous shortlisting process 14 FinTech Startups were invited to pitch to a jury comprising of Strategic and Theme Partners from which 10 FinTech Startups were selected to join the program.
In parallel, QFTH also selected 11 FinTech Startups for the Program through their Hackathon in June, bringing the total number of FinTech Startups in QFTH-FIA Wave 5 to 21. QFTH is honored to have partnered with key industry players with the likes of VISA, Qatar Insurance Company, Mastercard, and QDB to empower FinTech Startups in different areas such as PayTech, InsurTech, Buy Now Pay Later, and Loan Based Crowdfunding respectively.
The FinTech Startups admitted to the Program will undergo a unique 12-week of specialized guidance and skilling support to develop and grow their business model and further establish their companies. Participating FinTech Startups will also gain access to capital pre-seed investment inclusive of cash and in-kind up to $110K and $170K for incubator and accelerator programs, respectively. QFTH is proud to be partnered with other key ecosystem players such as the Qatar Central Bank, Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) and Microsoft who extend their guidance and services to the participating FinTech Startups.
“We are constantly working on developing the fintech industry by offering entrepreneurs the necessary support in terms of venture capital and our incubation and acceleration programs. We every new cohort of startups, we create a range of innovative solutions and future opportunities that advance Qatar’s position as a regional fintech hub. Over the next three months, we will work on developing and localizing 21 startups across four sectors through our incubation and acceleration programs as well as investments worth over $2 million.”
“These companies were shortlisted in line with the regulatory and licensing mechanisms outlined by Qatar Central Bank, with the aim of providing value-added services to the payments, insurance and crowdfunding sectors in coordination with the central bank’s fintech department, Visa, MasterCard, Qatar Insurance Company, Microsoft and Qatar Financial Center,” Mr. Al Sowaidi added.
QFTH hosted a fireside chat bringing the key stakeholders of the local ecosystem together and discussing with them the Evolution of the Qatari FinTech Ecosystem. Key executives from participating institutions such as Qatar Central Bank, Qatar Development Bank, VISA, Microsoft, Qatar Financial Centre and one of the licensed PSPs, PAY2M, whose QFTH alumni shared their thoughts and opinions about the growth and impact of the FinTech initiative.
Among other key events, QFTH orchestrated the strategic partnership signing ceremony between VISA and PAY2M, who went through the Acceleration Program and benefited from a number of benefits enabling them to be the first Qatari FinTech to have CyberSource integration with VISA. As part of extending support to the ecosystem, not just locally but also internationally, QFTH signed an MoU with the fastest-growing digital insurer in India, ACKO, hosting them as the InsurTech Anchor Tenant for the QFTH-FIA Wave 5. QFTH and ACKO will have a non-commercial value-based exchange, empowering the FinTech and InsurTech ecosystem.