Top 20 Fintech Startups In The Middle East

fintech, startups, arab, middle east

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.

Methodology

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

ImageRankStartupDescriptionFoundersFundingInvestorsCountryFounded
1PayTabsOnline payment processing solutionsAbdulaziz Fahad Aljouf$20 MSaudi Aramco's Wa'ed, Angel investmentSaudi Arabia2014
2Souqalmal.comFinancial products comparison siteAmbareen Musa$15.2 MHummingBird Ventures, NNS Capital, 500 Startups, Riyad Taqnia Fund, Angel investorsU.A.E.2012
3BayzatOnline health insurance and HR solutions providerTalal Bayaa, Brian Habibi$12.6 MBECO Capital, Precinct Partners, RAED Ventures, Delta Partners Group, WOMENA, Silicon Badia, Vision Ventures, undisclosed investorU.A.E.2014
4BeehiveSME focused peer2peer lending platformCraig Moore$11.5 MRiyad TAQNIA And Mohammed Bin Rashid Funds, Angel investorsU.A.E.2014
5YallacompareFinancial products comparison siteJon Richards, Samer Chehab$10.1 MSTC Ventures, Wamda Capital, Dubai Silicon Oasis, Saned, Mulverhill Associates, othersU.A.E.2011
6EureecaCrowdfunding platformChristoper Thomas, Sam Quawasmi$7.1 MSingularity Investments, Bahraini Investment bank, Saudi Financial Institution, crowd and other angel investorsU.A.E.2013
7MadfooatComElectronic bill presentment and payment serviceNasser Saleh$7 MOasis500 (Accelerator), 2P Company, AlSulmi and Sons company, Capital bank, Cairo Amman bank, AlEtihad bank and other angel investorsJordan2011
8liwwaPeer-to-peer lending platformAhmed Moor, Samer Atiani$5.6 MMENA Venture Investments, DASH Ventures, Bank al Etihad, Badia Impact Fund, Samih ToukanJordan2013
9RemitrMoney transfer appKanchan Kumar, Sandeep Jhingran, Altaf Ahmed, Sandeep Todi$2 MProfessional angel investors, family & friendsU.A.E.2015
10Ajar OnlineRent payment and property managementShaheen AlKhudhariBeco Capital, Sharq VenturesKuwait2016
11Tap PaymentsSimplifying online paymentsAli Abulhasan, Ahmed Almunayes, Mohammed AbulhasanITGKuwait2013
12Risk+SolutionsFinancial intelligence and risk management solutionsJad Doumith, Chadi El Nawar$1.5 MPhoenician FundsLebanon2017
13OneGramAsset backed cryptocurrencyIbrahim MohammedICOU.A.E.2017
14MoneyfellowsCrowd funding from social networksAhmed Wadi$800K500 Startups, Dubai angel investors and othersEgypt2016
15DemocranceInsurance marketplace for the underservedMichele Grosso, Alberto Perez, Damian Dimmich$770KJabbar Internet Group, EOS Venture Partners, other private and institutional investorsU.A.E.2015
16POSRocketiPad-based point-of-sale solutionsZeid Husban$650KJabbar Internet Group, Arzan VC, Propeller Inc., angel investorsJordan2016
17Peaqock FinancialsFintechMohammed Benkhaled$300KMaroc Numeric FundMorocco2013
18CashBashaFacilitates cash payments on international shopping sitesFouad Jeryes, Sinan Taifour500 Startups, Aramex VenturesJordan2015
19BridgSmartphone payment platformMoussa Beidas, Nadim Jarudi$165K500 Startups, Turn8U.A.E.2015
20SarwaRobo wealth advisorMark Chahwan, Jad Sayegh, Nadine MezherShorooq InvestmentsU.A.E.2016

Researchers:

Jason Lasrado, Ranju Warrier, Ahmed Mabrouk