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Dubai International Financial Center’s Fintech Fund invests in four startups: FlexxPay, Rise, Now Money, and Sarwa

The funding is directed at cultivating the financial services sector in the MENASA region.

Fintech Financial technology concept, man pressing text fintech and holding global currency. Source: Tuchong.

Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), a global financial center and regional fintech hub, has invested in four startups through its USD 100 million Fintech Fund, it announced today. The startups that have received investments include FlexxPay, Rise, Now Money, and Sarwa, said the statement, without disclosing the financial details of the investment.

The fund, which was first announced in 2017 and formally established in 2019, is designed to help startups operating in the financial services industry in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia by providing growth capital, while also supporting their outreach and connections with the financial industry, DIFC said.

FlexxPay partners with businesses to offer their employees access to the earned part of their salaries and commissions, whenever needed, in the form of advances.

Rise provides banking and financial services, including no-minimum balance bank accounts, remittances, consumer loans, and some insurance solutions, to the unbanked and underbanked migrant workers in the United Arab Emirates.

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Now Money provides payroll services to Gulf-based companies and app-based accounts with a physical debit card and remittance options for their low-income workers. Interestingly, Rise and Now Money have overlapping services, but DIFC and its fund managers invested in both the startups.

Sarwa is a robo-advisory platform that uses a combination of technology and human advice to allow a users to invest their savings at a very low fee.

Arif Amiri, the CEO of DIFC Authority, commented on the occasion and said, “Our position as one of the world’s top ten fintech hubs is strengthened by making investments in startups such as those we have announced today. The DIFC Fintech Fund accelerates the development of impactful fintech firms, taking them a step further toward capitalizing on the strong growth opportunities available in the region.”

“Through investing and providing the region’s most comprehensive platform, we can drive innovation across MENASA’s financial services sector,” he added.

This article first appeared on MENAbytes.