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Startups

These Three Lebanese Entrepreneurs Just Bagged $10M For Their Robo Wealth Advisor

Nermeen Abbas
These Three Lebanese Entrepreneurs Just Bagged $10M For Their Robo Wealth Advisor Sarwa's founding team Jad Sayegh, Mark Chahwan and Nadine Mezher. Courtesy of Sarwa.

Robo-wealth advisor “Sarwa” has successfully bagged $8.4 million in funding in a Series A round, bringing its total funding to over $10 million since its inception in December 2017.

Founded by Lebanese entrepreneurs Mark Chahwan, Jad Sayegh and Nadine Mezher, Sarwa “means “wealth” in Arabic. It was created to fill the gap between traditional advisors and self-directed investing, providing low-cost solutions with guided investment planning and on-demand advisory with a remote portfolio manager.

Sarwa’s founders come from different backgrounds, including consulting, software engineering, and marketing and communication. The entrepreneurs officially launched their platform in February 2018. Sarwa grew by more than 10 times in 2019, and currently has more than 10,000 registered users.

The new funding round was led by Kuwait Projects Company “KIPCO”—a regional investment holding group with consolidated assets of more than $30 billion—along with leading investors such as the Dubai International Financial Center, Abu Dhabi Investment Office, Vision Ventures from Saudi, Hambro Perks from the UK, as well as existing investors.

“Our investment will give Sarwa access to KIPCO’s network of businesses and clients across the region, thus enabling the fintech company to benefit from our regional presence as we strive together to grow the business and expand its reach,” said Osama T. Al Ghoussein, KIPCO SVP Banking and Sarwa Board Member.

The fintech-startup plans on strengthening its position in the UAE and expanding into new markets including Saudi, assisted by strategic partners such as Vision Venture, Hala Ventures and Angel Investor Musaab Hussain Nasser Hakami.

The startup scene continues to flourish in the region. 2019 was a record year for MENA startups in terms of the number of deals, exits, and investors. MENA-based startups bagged $704 million through more than 564 deals, according to MAGNiTT’s MENA Venture Investment Report. Fintech startups accounted for 13% of all deals.

Courtesy of Sarwa.

A researcher at Forbes Middle East, where I participate in creating lists such as The Top 100 Startups; The Middle East’s 100 Power Businesswomen; 30 Under 30 among other lists.

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