Fintech companies are making the financial system a whole lot easier and faster. According to Investment Monitor, the global fintech market is projected to hit a market value of USD 305 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 20% over the next four years. Key reasons behind the rapid growth of the fintech market are convenience, sustainability, bringing “unbanked” people closer to the system and increasing concern for health and hygiene.

The Middle East is no exception to this global trend, and the region shows vital signs of a thriving fintech innovation environment. The UAE is a massive player in the region, across industries. According to an IBS Intelligence report, the UAE is home to almost 50% of the region’s fintech companies. Abu Dhabi Global Market and Dubai International Financial Centre, two leading UAE financial free zones, are the key flagship examples of the UAE’s financial services and fintech success. According to the World Bank, it is the easiest place to do business in MEA.

Here we have carefully curated a list of the top 10 fintech startups in UAE. The startups in this list are ranked according to the total funding they have raised to date. All these startups have distinguished themselves by the product or service they provide in the industry. CrunchBase and Pitchbook are the primary sources of data used in this article.

1. Channel VAS

  • Founder: Bassim Haidar
  • Founding Year: 2012
  • Headquarters: Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Total Funding Received: USD 104 million
  • Investors: Convergence Partners, Development Partners International, Ethos Private Equity
  • Last Funding Round Type and Deal Amount: Private Equity, USD 5 million

Channel VAS is a premium Fintech company developing mobile financial services, airtime credit services, handset loans and big data analytics. The company has vast experience in emerging markets, a strong presence in more than 42 countries and is expanding to new markets globally. The startup offers a wide range of financial solutions using proprietary analytics tools. It includes micro cash loans, credit services for pre-paid utilities, dynamic feed trends, and other related services, enabling clients to easily avail micro and nano loans to enhance their revenue stream potential.

2. BitOasis

  • Founders: Daniel Robenek, Ola Doudin
  • Founding Year: 2014
  • Headquarters: Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Total Funding Received: USD 30 million
  • Investors: Global Founders Capital, Digital Currency Group, Pantera Capital, Jump Capital, 1776 Ventures, Alameda Research, Wamda Capital, Jabbar Internet Group
  • Last Funding Round Type and Deal Amount: Series B, USD 30 million

BitOasis is the Middle East & North Africa’s leading digital asset exchange and wallet. The startup’s gateway offers a multi-signature wallet and exchange service focused on dominantly cash-based emerging markets, enabling enterprises to protect their assets while adding an extra layer of security.

3. Tarabut Gateway

  • Founder: Abdulla Almoayed
  • Founding Year: Dec 2017
  • Headquarters: Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Total Funding Received: USD 25 million
  • Investors: Tiger Global Management, Entrée Capital, Target Global, DIFC FinTech Hive, Global Ventures, Kingsway Capital, Almoayed Ventures, Mad’a Investment Company
  • Last Funding Round Type and Deal Amount: Undisclosed, USD 12 million

Tarabut Gateway is MENA’s first and largest regulated Open Banking platform that connects a regional network of banks and Fintechs via a universal applications programming interface (API). By offering the tools that would allow the facilitation and distribution of personalized financial services, Tarabut Gateway enables banks and Fintechs to build the future of financial services across MENA.

4. Sarwa

  • Founders: Jad Sayegh, Mark Chahwan, Nadine Mezher
  • Founding Year: Nov 1, 2017
  • Headquarters: Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Total Funding Received: USD 24.9 million
  • Investors: 500 Startups, Hambro Perks Ltd., Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), DIFC FinTech Hive, Shorooq Partners, Vision Ventures, Mubadala, Phoenician Funds
  • Last Funding Round Type and Deal Amount: Series B, USD 15 million

Sarwa is the first hybrid automated investment platform in the region. The company’s platform educates the public about the different aspects of personal finance and investment, enabling customers to make diversified investments and get better returns. Sarwa Classic is Regulated by the DFSA, Sarwa X is regulated by the ADGM Financial Services Regulatory Authority.

5. Yallacompare

  • Founders: Jon Richards, Jonathan Rawling, Samer Chehab
  • Founding Year: 2011
  • Headquarters: Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Total Funding Received: USD 21.65 million
  • Investors: Wamda Capital, Dtec Ventures, Saned Partners, STC Ventures, Argo Ventures, Gulf Insurance Group, Jonathan Hall
  • Last Funding Round Type and Deal Amount: Corporate Round, USD 4.25 million

Yallacompare (formerly is the Middle East’s leading comparison site. The company’s platform helps to make informed financial decisions by offering accurate, transparent, and impartial information, enabling consumers to find and compare credit cards, personal loans, mortgages, car loans, insurance, and bank accounts from a diverse range of local and international banks and financial institutions.

6. Beehive

  • Founder: Craig Moore
  • Founding Year: 2013
  • Headquarters: Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Total Funding Received: USD 15.5 million
  • Investors: Riyad TAQNIA Fund (RTF)
  • Last Funding Round Type and Deal Amount: Series B, USD 4 million

Beehive is MENA’s first regulated online marketplace for peer-to-peer lending. Beehive directly connects smart investors and creditworthy businesses to build mutually beneficial partnerships for growth. Its platform applies innovative crowdfunding technology to eliminate the cost and complexity of conventional finance, meaning investors get better returns and businesses get faster access to lower-cost finance.

7. Telr

  • Founder: Khalil Alami
  • Founding Year: 2014
  • Headquarters: Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Total Funding Received: USD 13.9 million
  • Investors: iMENA Group, Harveen Narulla, Innovations East fund
  • Last Funding Round Type and Deal Amount: Series A, USD 5.5 million

Telr is an award-winning, Dubai-based start-up offering payment gateway solutions for SMEs, government bodies and large corporations. Its wholly-owned, unique platform offers settlement to online international merchants in multi-currencies in multiple countries with one integration only. It facilitates online merchants to reach out to a larger pie of the online population through social media, mobile applications, and websites, enabling businesses to offer multiple payment methods such as wallets, online banking, debit cards and credit cards to their customers. TELR was awarded the prestigious Startup of the Year award in 2014 by Arabian Business, months after officially launching. In 2015 it won the Best Payment Product in the Middle East award given by The Asian Banker, whilst in 2017 it was awarded Innovative Vendor – Fintech at the 2017 GEC Awards in Dubai. TELR is the first PCI DSS Level 1 certified company in MENA (payment security standards council).

8. NymCard

  • Founders: Ayman Chalhoub, Omar Onsi, Ihab Ayoub
  • Founding Year: 2018
  • Headquarters: Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • Total Funding Received: USD 13.6 million
  • Investors: VentureSouq, Shorooq Partners, BY Venture Partners, Phoenician Funds, otf Jasoor Ventures
  • Last Funding Round Type and Deal Amount: Series A, USD 7.6 million

NymCard is the only BaaS provider based in the Middle East, offering a modern payment issuing and processing platform. It allows booming startups, Fintechs, large enterprises, and banks in the MENA region to instantly create, control, and distribute virtual or physical cards using their modern, fully public API platform. NymCard aims to bridge the gap of complex legacy systems by simply embedding finance into applications and customer journeys for payment innovators to work with.

9. NOW Money

  • Founders: Ian Dillon, Katharine Budd
  • Founding Year: May 2016
  • Headquarters: Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Total Funding Received: USD 10,872,500
  • Investors: Anthemis Group, Hambro Perks Ltd., Wamda Capital, Accion Venture Lab, DIFC FinTech Hive, Anthemis Exponential Ventures, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Newid Capital
  • Last Funding Round Type and Deal Amount: NA, USD 7 million

NOW Money uses mobile banking technology to bring accounts and remittances to the unbanked population of the Middle East. The company’s application uses mobile banking technology to provide accounts, financial inclusion and a range of low-cost remittance options to low-income migrant workers in the Gulf region, enabling migrant workers to get international money transfers and currency conversion services at low cost.

10. Mamo

  • Founders: Asim Janjua, Imad Gharazeddine, Mohammad El Saadi
  • Founding Year: Jul 1, 2016
  • Headquarters: Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Total Funding Received: USD 9.5 million
  • Investors: 500 Startups, Global Founders Capital, VentureSouq, MSA Capital, Global Ventures, 4DX Ventures, Dubai Angel Investors, Olive Tree Capital, AIRajhi Partners
  • Last Funding Round Type and Deal Amount: Series A, USD 8 million

Mamo is a bold and inclusive FinTech company committed to bringing financial independence to the underserved. Mamo’s flagship solution is Mamo Pay, a fast, secure, human-centred platform co-created to simplify everyday personal and business payments. With trust, traceability, and transparency at the top of its agenda, Mamo’s ambition is to accelerate the MENA region towards digital payments and champion financial inclusion and literacy across economically diverse communities. Mamo’s vision is to make everyday payments, transfers, and transactions simple while bringing financial independence to every human being.

For more extensive analysis and Market Intelligence reports feel free to approach us or visit our website: Venture Capital Market Intelligence Reports | VCBay.

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Manish writes about the startup ecosystem on VCBay. He is pursuing Master of Commerce from Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, and is passionate about the world of finance, information technology & entrepreneurship.



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