Dubai FinTech Hive accelerator selects first 11 finalists

The group will engage in a 12-week programme before pitching to investors



Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has selected the first 11 finalists for its FinTech Hive start-up accelerator programme announced in partnership with Accenture in January.

The first cycle of the accelerator will now begin with a 12-week curriculum allowing those selected to work with financial institutions and stakeholders to create solutions for the financial services industry.

Read: DIFC, Accenture launch new fintech accelerator in Dubai

DIFC said the finalists were selected based on their level of business maturity, potential to thrive at the accelerator and “degree of fit” with the partnering financial institutions.

They are:

Bridg (United Arab Emirates)
A custom built communication technology that allows smartphones to send and receive money while offline.

Delio (United Kingdom)
A solution for private assets, helping financial institutions and their advisors enhance their offering through connecting private deal flow with high net worth and ultra-high net worth capital.

Labiba (Jordan)
A platform to help businesses capture that opportunity by allowing them to create artificially intelligent chat bots.

Maliyya (Azerbaijan)
A Shariah-compliant P2P financing and investment startup.

Middleware (United States)
The company behind the Share CreditCard platform allowing customers to share access to money on their cards without using a money transfer.

Norbloc (Sweden)
A specialist in financial regulatory applications built on distributed ledgers.

Sarwa (United Arab Emirates)
A hybrid automated investment management platform for young professionals in the Middle-East.

Semantify (United States)
A data analytics platform to help business users interact with critical data.

Starling Trust (United States)
An applied behavioural sciences RegTech startup helping financial services firms to manage culture- and conduct-related risks.

Theme Chain (India)
A subsidiary of trade finance software as a service provider Encore Theme Technologies.

WeInvest (Singapore)
A digital wealth management solutions provider.

“We received an overwhelming number of applications for the programme – a testament to the demand for such an initiative – and the quality of proposals was very impressive. I would like to thank all candidates for their efforts and strongly encourage them to continue to work hard towards progressing their FinTech ideas,” said Raja Al Mazrouei, acting executive vice president of FinTech Hive at DIFC.

In the first phase of the programme, each finalist with meet with executives from partners including Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Citi, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates Islamic, Emirates NBD, HSBC, Mashreq, Network International, RAKBANK, Standard Chartered and Visa to discuss industry challenges and solutions to address them.

They will also meet with representatives from Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) and UAE Exchange to provide preliminary feedback and discuss mentorship opportunities.

The second phase will see engagement with the partners and mentorship by the financial institutions and other partners specialising in technology, legal, Islamic finance and regulation.

This will see DIEDC connect firms with fellow entrepreneurs in Islamic FinTech at a dedicated start-up event and law firms Clyde & Co, Simmons & Simmons and Support Legal offer advice on navigating the region’s legal framework.

Envestnet|Yodlee, Facebook and IBM will provide technology feedback and the group will be granted discounted rates by firms including ride app Careem, Rove Hotels and telco Etisalat during the 12-week period.

The third phase will see the finalists prepare to pitch for an investor day in mid-November during which they will present their product to investors, bankers, government officials and members of the media.

Participants in the programme will also benefit from DIFC’s recently announced Innovation Testing Licence to test concepts within the free zone without being subject to normal regulatory requirements.

Read: Dubai reduces regulation for fintech firms with new licence

Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain are among a group of Gulf economies seeking to become the region’s fintech hub.

Bahrain has issued similar regulation allowing start-ups to test their ideas in a controller environment and Abu Dhabi Global Market recently announced a partnership with professional services firm KPMG for the FinTech Abu Dhabi Innovation Challenge.

Read: Abu Dhabi Global Market, KPMG launch fintech challenge for start-ups

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