Dubai’s financial free zone Dubai International Financial Centre has inked a deal with Startupbootcamp in an effort to transform itself into a regional hub for fintech.
DIFC’s agreement with Startupbootcamp will help it develop its fintech capabilities and the venture capital ecosystem in the emirate while also providing a much-needed boost for entrepreneurship.
Startupbootcamp is one of the world’s largest global network of industry specific programs that support early stage companies to rapidly scale their businesses by providing startups access to mentors, partners and investors.
Through this deal, early stage startups within fintech, insurtech and regtech can benefit from guidance and mentorship needed during their incubation period. DIFC hopes that this partnership will help boost entrepreneurship within the UAE, in turn attracting more venture capitalists to the country.
“Startupbootcamp has been leading the development of the FinTech and InsurTech industries in cities like London, New York, Singapore, Amsterdam, Mexico City and Mumbai through our programs,” said Carsten Koelbek, Chairman of Startupbootcamp.
“To date we have invested in and accelerated more than 200 FinTech and InsurTech startups.”
DIFC has been increasingly looking to develop fintech capabilities and hopes that it will be a hub for fintech startups in the future. Last year, the freezone established an accelerator called Fintech Hive. This initiative was followed by the launch of a $100 million fintech focused fund that aims to invest in startups within the incubation stage to growth stage.
It is not just Dubai that is looking to tap into fintech within the GCC. Abu Dhabi too has established a dedicated zone for fintech startups while Bahrain opened a Fintech Bay earlier this year.
According to State of Fintech report, investments in fintech startups had jumped to $35 million by October 2017, compared to a year earlier. This figure is expected to double by 2020.