Fintech startups have created quite a buzz in the region, raising over $100 million in the last five years. Investment in this sector is well warranted, considering the fact that traditional banks have had limited success in the region, where 70% of the population do not even have a bank account.
When it comes to financial inclusion, the main challenges that the region’s population faces are lack of knowledge and limited access to finance along with expensive and inadequate finances for small business. Many startups on our list are looking to address these market gaps. Startups such as yallacompare and Souqalmal.com allow users to compare and choose the most suitable financial product among an influx of products while crowd funding platforms such as Beehive and Eureeca bridge a gap between investors and business, by helping the fledgling companies get cheaper finance while providing investors with better returns on their deals.
The 20 Fintech startups on our list have raised over $99 million in venture funding, and most of them plan to raise more funds this year. Paytabs, the payment platform that is backed by Saudi Aramco tops the list. The firm has raised $20 million funding that they have used to expand to 17 countries. With half of the startups in our list based in the U.A.E., the country emerges as the hub for fintech while Jordan follows closely with four entries.
To rank the fintech firms, we got in touch with various fintech startups and acquired details about their businesses including funds raised, and their business models. To make the list, the startup should have been founded in 2011 or later and should have received external funds. We evaluated the companies on the basis of funds raised, which was given the highest weight. We also looked at the quality of investors and the business models of the startups