Over 100 fintech firms register in Dubai’s DIFC since 2018

The centre offers fintech firms subsidised licensing options and access to a $100m fintech fund



The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has registered over 100 fintech firms since the end of 2018, with strong growth seen this year, it announced on Monday.

DIFC said its fintech ecosystem more than doubled in size from over 80 to 200 companies in the last six months.

The centre offers firms subsidised licensing options and access to a $100m fintech fund managed by Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) and Wamda Capital.

Some of the firms recently attracted by the centre included Bankable, the UK-based architect of digital banking and payment solutions and QFPay, the global mobile payment technology company from Hong Kong, providing back-end solutions to the likes of Alipay and WePay.

Regulated fintech firms that have received the Innovation Testing Licence (ITL) offered by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) include Sarwa, TokenMarket, and Wethaq.

DIFC also said there was a “significant” increase in the number of fintech firms wanting to participate in its accelerator programmes.

The third cohort of the programme received 425 applications from start-ups operating in the regtech, Islamic fintech, insurtech and broader fintech sectors, a 42 per cent increase from the 2018 programme.

This also marked a three-fold increase from its inaugural cycle in 2017.

Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority, said: “The significant rise in the number of registered fintech firms establishing a presence at the centre highlights our sustained efforts to transform the region’s financial technology ecosystem and drive sustainable economic growth.

“We aim to continue this momentum and growth through our evolving regulatory environment and the quality of collaborators we bring into the DIFC.”

Dubai has set a goal of becoming a regional fintech hub through accelerator programmes, an experimental licence regime and a $100m fund.

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The emirate also aims to become a leader in bitcoin database technology blockchain through a commitment to use it for all government documents by 2020.

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