The UAE-based fintech platform Baraka, developed to buy and trade listed US stocks is currently testing investors’ response prior to a possible launch in the second quarter of this year.
The platform which aims to connect young, millennial investors to regional and international investment opportunities has now introduced its waitlist and free stock giveaway features, as the app is waiting for regulatory approval ahead of the full launch.
The company’s pre-seed funding round which raised about $1 million was led by Class 5 Global, with participation from FJ Labs, IMO Ventures, The Community Fund, VentureSouq and private investment from Dr. Abdulla Elyas, co-founder of Careem.
“Young investors in the Middle East are becoming more conscious about the companies and causes they want to support. Whether it’s backing organizations that prioritize diversity and inclusion, seeking sustainable investment options, or just helping their favorite brands to grow, millennials want a say in where their money is going. So, we created a platform that would allow them to do that while addressing their two biggest challenges, limited access to US-listed stocks, and a lack of understanding around how they work.”
Since the beginning of the year, stock trading apps are highly popular in the US, driving some of the sharpest rises in the market. The popularity of Robinhood and others of similar platforms have brought in new entrants into the marketplace, and effectively rewriting the rules of engagement.
The new platform will give members access to over 4,000 US-listed securities, including ETFs (exchange-traded funds) and fractional shares. Users will get free access to the mobile trading app, as well as the option of a paid tier offering stock analysis, with no minimum investment requirements.
Last year, the startup had also launched a newsletter as part of its educational offering and plans to include an in-app messenger to test user knowledge through gamified investment quizzes.