Allowing startups and entrepreneurs to access a network of individual investors and lenders, the UAE’s Beehive has expanded to the KSA, in cooperation with local banks.
The idea is simple: sign up your startup, indicate how much investment you’re after, and let the cloud-based system match you with investors, ready to put their money where their mouth is. It’s no surprise then, that the concept behind Beehive was a hit with entrepreneurs and investors alike, since its launch in the UAE in 2014. The FinTech platform seamlessly connects the two parties with transparency, and has rapidly grown into a major alternative to traditional financing services across the region.
“Peer to peer (P2P) lending is a form of crowdfunding and refers to investors providing finance to businesses without the use of a conventional intermediary, such as a bank,” explain the team behind Beehive. “P2P lending uses the internet as a platform to reach a crowd of hundreds of potential investors.” With scores of startups and SMEs having already benefited from the platform in the UAE, Saudi Arabia is getting in on the action as the Kingdom’s Social Development Bank and Gulf International Bank (GIB) announce they have teamed up with Beehive to offer firms funding between SR100,000 ($27,000) and SR3 million ($800,000).
Needless to say, small businesses tend to find traditional forms of lending and investment difficult to get on board with, as they often do not have historical relationships with banks, nor will they necessarily have good credit scores to be able to secure loans. Luckily, KSA’s Vision 2030 economic reform plan puts a lot of focus on developing local SMEs to diversify the economy away from oil, and collaborations like this one with Beehive are set to invigorate the sector.
“Saudi Arabia is currently a hotbed for fintech innovation and has a booming untapped MSME economy, making it an obvious destination for a digital lending product for micro and small enterprises,” says Beehive CEO Craig Moore.
You can find out how to register as an investor or an SME on Beehive here.
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