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Dubai's DIFC Just Launched a FinTech Accelerator - and These Are the 11 Finalists

A leading financial hub in the MEASA region, the Dubai International Financial Center just launched its first accelerator program, FinTech Hive. Hailing from the Middle East, Europe, Asia and North America, these 11 finalists are ready to begin the cycle.

A growing financial hub that stretches from the Middle East to Africa, and all the way to South Asia, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is home to 21,000 individuals from over 1,500 financial services companies. Although established in 2004, DIFC launched its first accelerator programme earlier this year, FinTech Hive, calling out on early-stage startups with innovative ideas.

In partnership with Accenture, a Fortune Global 500 company and consulting firm, the programme helps selected applicants refine and test their proposition with the support of the world’s leading financial firms in 12 weeks. From mentorship by global technology leaders and senior financial executives, to workshops and discussions to finding opportunities from investors and partners, the programme will help them create real solutions addressing the needs of the region’s financial services industry.

FinTech Hive has partnered with prominent financial institutions to mentor, training and engage with the participants, such institutions include Emirates NBD, ADIB, HSBC, Visa and Citi Bank; but that's not all, partnering with growing mobility startup, Careem, for transportation and Facebook for Developers for technology.

Receiving over 100 applicants from over 32 countries, the 11 finalists were chosen based on level of business maturity and potential of thriving; coming from all over the globe, the selected startups are:

1. Sarwa (UAE), the first hybrid automated investment management platform for young professionals in the Middle East, making investment simpler and more affordable.

2. Bridg (UAE), an offline money transfer solution between smartphones.

3. Labiba (Jordan), which helps businesses create artificially intelligent chatbots by transforming how businesses communicate with their customers.

4. Middleware (USA). Instead of making a money transfer, this startup allows customers to share access to the money on their cards.
 
5. Starling Trust (USA), a RegTech (regulatory technology) startup that helps financial services firms measure and manage their people dynamics, to reduce risk and improve performance predictably.

6. Semantify (USA), a startup that, by helping business users and data analysts interact with critical business data, Semantify is a pioneering trail in data exploration and analytics.

7. Delio (UK), a platform helping financial institutions and organisations enhance their offering by connecting private deal flow with high net worth capital.

8. Norbloc (Sweden), which focuses on financial regulatory applications built on distributed ledgers, Norbloc simplifies compliance processes through their blockchain platform.

9. Theme Chain (India). A subsidiary of Encore Theme Technologies, Theme Chain provides smart electronic solutions for trade finance businesses, from importers and exporters to banks, regulators, and shipping agents to insurance companies.

10. WeInvest (Singapore), a digital wealth management solutions provider that takes the best elements of a high-end investing service, strip out the complexity and cost, and provides users with it online.

11. Maliyya (Azerbaijan), a Shariah-compliant Peer-to-Peer financing and investment platform designed to address unmet financial needs of Muslim businesses and consumers.

Main Photo: Dubai International Financial Center

Photo Credit: West Gate Real Estate.




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