A Growing Industry: 5 of the Middle East's Biggest Fintech Startups

Published October 6th, 2020 - 02:30 GMT
A Growing Industry: 5 of the Middle East's Biggest Fintech Startups
The UAE hosts one-third of the region's Fintech start-ups, making it the biggest market in the Middle East. (Shutterstock: Wright Studio)

The Fintech (Financial Technology) scene in the Middle East has grown so rapidly since 2015, drawing millions of dollars of investments. According to Magnitt, Middle Eastern Fintech start-ups have received the biggest number of investment deals during the first half of 2020.

Between the years 2015-2020, the Middle Eastern Fintech sector has received a total of $237M and based on 2019 estimates, the industry is expected to climb by 230% by the year 2022. The UAE hosts one-third of the region's Fintech start-ups, making it the biggest market in the Middle East.

This year, in particular, is expected to witness an exceptional interest in the Fintech sector, as a result of the radical changes that have occurred to our daily lives since the Coronavirus pandemic has started. The limited travel options within or across countries in addition to the increasing shift to using technologies to facilitate financial services have been greatly impacting the industry.

Moreover, the economic crisis that has been worsening since March, has sharply influenced investors' decisions as they look for safe, yet promising economic environments that can survive the global meltdown.

1. PayTabs

The service founded by Abdulaziz Aljouf in Saudi Arabia in 2013 with a $1M budget has been dedicated to offering smart digital solutions for financial transactions and payment services. 

In 2017, PayTabs received $20M in funding mostly by Saudi Aramco.

2. Bayzat

The UAE-based start-up founded by Talal Bayaa And Brian Habibi in 2013 provides users with full information in regard to their health insurance plans, what it covers, when, and where, making it one of the most popular smart applications used by people in the country.

In 2019, Bayzat secured $16M in Series B funding by Point72 Venture in addition to Elm, Greyhound Capital, Endeavor Catalyst, and Tech Invest Com.

3. Liwwa, Inc.

Founded in Jordan in 2012, Liwaa has been amongst the most important names in peer-to-peer lending platforms, as it helps global small and medium businesses connect with each other for such purposes.  

Earlier this year, Liwaa raised $6 million in equity investment led by Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank FMO.

4. Tribal Credit

The Egyptian credit card start-up provides emerging markets with instant control over their money and has $9.1M from BECO Capital, Global Ventures, Endure Capital, 500 Startups, Off The Grid Ventures, Rising Tide Fund, Tribe Capital, Silicon Valley Bank, and Amr Shady.

5. Aqeed

Another insurance-focused start-up from Dubai, founded in 2018. It helps insurance contractors to have a better and simpler understanding of their plans. Aqeed was founded with an $18 million budget.

The next few years are going to be particularly game-changing, the Fintech game is set to grow even more in the dynamic region of the Middle East.


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