Sarwa, a Dubai-based automated investment advisory platform, has raised $1.3 million in its latest round of pre-Series A funding from popular regional and international venture capital firms, bringing its total sum to $1.5 million.

The pre-Series A round saw investments pouring in from Abu Dhabi-based Shorooq Investments along with Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), 500 Startups, Dubai-based Women’s Angel Investor Network, Saudi Arabia’s Hala Ventures, and Saned Partners from Lebanon.

Through the new investments, Sarwa aims to accelerate growth by making its investment advisory services more readily available to young professionals throughout the underserved market.

Founded by Mark Chahwan, Jad Sayegh, and Nadine Mezher, Sarwa launched its platform in February 2018. Sarwa provides expert-level investment advice to its clients by combining technology and human advice to create a digitized and user-friendly investing experience, the first service of its kind in the region.

The Sarwa Dashboard. Photo provided by Sarwa.
The Sarwa Dashboard. Photo provided by Sarwa.

The platform activated its first clients under the Innovation Testing License, which was provided for the first time by the Dubai Financial Services Authority. The special license is awarded to Fintech startups in order to bring innovative solutions for the region.

Ever since its launch, Sarwa has witnessed a monthly growth rate of over 20% and has reached more than 1,000 registered users.

Commenting on the latest funding round, Sarwa’s CEO and co-founder said that the platform’s client base covers anyone that needs “guidance in investing his or her hard earned money.”

“This round will allow us to continue leading the investment advisory space and reach even more people”, he added.

As part of its expansion plans, Sarwa will be looking to work with corporations to offer employees saving scheme plans, helping them cover their long-term financial goals.

This year, in particular, has been quite exciting for startups in the region, which has witnessed investments pouring from investors across the globe. According to the latest report by ArabNet, tech startups in the Middle East and North Africa secured $650 million in investments across 270 deals in 2017. About 33% of that total comes from the U.A.E alone.