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UAE Startup Rise Raises $1.4 Million to Expand Financial Services for Unbanked Migrant Workers

UAE-based Rise aims to expand its service across the Gulf, its first locations being KSA and Bahrain.

Fintech startups are some of the most in-demand companies around the world and across the Middle East. One of the latest to arrive to the disruptive industry, UAE-based Rise, just scored a $1.4 million investment, according to a newsletter by the Middle East Venture Partners, which led the investment round.

Founded in 2016 by former World Economic Forum Global Leadership Fellow, Padmini Gupta, and serial entrepreneur, Milind Singh, the startup offers its services directly to the unbanked and low-income migrant workers of the UAE - a heterogenous population that accounts for around 85% of the country’s total demographic.

Aonlg its services, Rise currently offers no minimum balance bank accounts in partnership with United Arab Bank, consumer loans in both UAE and the migrants’ home countries and assisted remittances, as well as some insurance solutions. 

The platform uses AI technology and an accessible interface to consult with customers about everything from financial literacy, to planning and opening accounts. It’s now serving around 20,000 users per week and, according to co-founder Gupta, is growing at a rate of 70% month-on-month.

Rise is currently operating in the UAE, but aims to expand its service across the Gulf, its first locations being KSA and Bahrain.

The investment round was joined by Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) Fintech Fund, 500 Startups (MENA), Saudi’s Khwarizmi Ventures, and Phoenician Funds. The round was one of the most successful yet for Rise.




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