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MENA’s Fin-Tech Sector to Raise Over $2 Billion by 2022

The healthy growth is attributed to the rapid development in the sector since 2017, in addition to the region’s commitment to technology.

Fin-tech companies in the Middle East have the potential to collectively raise venture capital of over $2 billion by 2022, according to data from the Milken Institute Centre for Financial Markets. The healthy growth is attributed to the rapid development in the sector in addition to the region’s commitment to technology.

The report’s findings suggest that the regional Fin-tech sector is developing at a compounded annual growth rate of 30% which will boost the future of funding in comparison to the $80 million raised by VC firms in 2017. The boost in financing will be supported by approximately 465 Fin-Tech firms in the Middle East, including key players Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC), Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), and Bahrain Fintech Bay (BFB) which aim to fuel Fin-Tech development in the region.

According to the report, the MENA region represents only %1 of Fin-tech investment globally, but mentions the region’s geographic position and demographics as a gateway linking East and West as a favourable source for the growth and development of financial technology.

The study discussed UAE’s expatriate population, which represents around 90% of its total population, and its noticeable remittances which amounted to $44.5 billion in 2017. Three fourths of which were transferred via money exchange services and the remainder transferred through banks to top countries including India, Pakistan and the Philippines.

Moreover, the report explains the substantial penetration of smartphone devices and internet connectivity and the role they play in driving the region’s innovational approaches. Mobile penetration went up 100% since 2017, while smartphone penetration neared 60%, making Bahrain, the UAE and Qatar amongst the most penetrated markets in the world today.

Lastly, these developments are somewhat visible in today’s economy with DIFC’s efforts to establish a $100 million Fin-tech fund to facilitate artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and robotics startups and ADGM’s Ghadan Ventures Fund’s contribution of $150m dedicated towards investments in tech-based startups located in Hub71. Additionally, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will join the rest of the GCC in launching 5G networks by the end of 2019.


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