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Dubai-based Startup Beehive Raises $5 Million and Heads Off to Enter the Saudi Market

Dubai-Based FinTech Startup Souqalmal Raises a Gargantuan $10 Million Series B Round

The investment round was led by ed by Saudi Arabia’s Riyad Taqnia Fund and UK-based financial comparison site GoCompare.

Dubai-based financial comparison platform Souqalmal has just announced a $10 million Series B round, led by Saudi Arabia’s Riyad TAQNIA Fund, Forbes Middle East reported. The round also included money remittance company UAE Exchange and UK-based financial comparison site GoCompare.

Founded in 2012, the startup helps users compare 3,200 banking, insurance and education products across the UAE and Saudi Arabia, including car insurance and mobile phone plans, broadband plans and flights. The startup, spearheaded by Mauritian entrepreneur Ambareen Musa, is one of the top funded startups in the UAE, having previously raised $4.5 million in funding, according to Mena Bytes. Now, with this $10 million round totals a funding of $14.5 million. Just a few days ago, it ranked at 21 on Forbes Middle East’s list of the Top 100 Startups In The Arab World 2017.

“The funding will largely be used to launch new business lines, develop our platform’s technology, and invest in marketing to further raise awareness and reach more people. However, these partnerships go far beyond funding. GoCompare brings to the table best-in-class expertise and technology; partnering with UAE Exchange gives us fantastic customer reach across the GCC and RTF will help us expand in the Saudi market. We have a powerful shared vision to create a regional platform that will transform people’s understanding and purchase of personal finance products.” Musa said.

The entrepreneur is now looking to expand in the region, widening her company’s reach in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, and eventually spreading out across the MENA region. Saudi Arabia - despite being the Middle East’s largest market - is difficult for startups to break into, which is why Musa partnered with the Riyad Taqnia Fund, in an effort to further penetrate the market.

Albeit the lack of infrastructure and regulations surrounding FinTech in the Middle East, Musa asserts there's progress in the making. Earlier this year, Dubai-based FinTech startup NOW Money raised 3 million AED, following other industry pioneers, like Bayzat and Compareit4me, who snagged $3 million and $3.5 million respectively in the first half of 2017. Next October, the UAE is hosting FinTech Abu Dhabi, an event that hopes to crystallise the region's growing FinTech scene. 

Main photo: Souqalmal founder Ambareen Musa.

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