الجمعة. يناير 22nd, 2021

بوابة شموس نيوز

إلكترونية – يومية – مصرية

Pandemic creates surge for MENA fintech development

2 min read

The number of Fintech startups have surged in the last 10 years: tech ventures which are positioned to serve and disrupt financial markets and the associated knowledge industries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. As of November 2020, the region has around 425 Fintechs as per the Fintech Galaxy Marketplace.
Among ten different verticals grouped under the umbrella term “Fintech”, almost two thirds are found in three verticals: ventures in the “Payment, Transfers and Remittances” vertical take the lead with over 140 startups, followed by “Lending and Crowdfunding” and “Wealth and Finance Management” with 67 and 64 respectively.
A look at distribution of Fintechs per country shows the United Arab Emirates leading with 154, followed by Saudi Arabia (86) and Egypt (67). Bahrain, currently in fourth place with 40 startups by our count at Fintech Galaxy (noting that these numbers vary between different reports and methodologies), is pressing ahead with Fintech infrastructure initiatives such as the new Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) digital lab FinHub 973. Launched in October 2020, the platform aims to stimulate open innovation and connect financial institutions in Bahrain to fintech startups from across the globe by offering an API environment, a global Fintech marketplace and digitized regulatory sandbox. Lebanon, by our research, is the home country of 28 Fintech startups in Q4 2020.
The surge in MENA Fintech startups began about seven years ago when 29 new startups were recorded in 2014. Although the 2020 cohort of MENA’s new Fintechs – comprised of 21 in total – sharply dropped from 80 in 2018, primarily due to the uncertainties around the COVID-19 pandemic. However, new opportunities are now rising for Fintech players given the heightened need for digital banking services and increased customer sophistication.
I do not see a drop in passion for creating financial disruption in this region. And where there is passion, there are investors. It’s estimated that the Fintechs in the region will raise $2 billion in venture capital (VC) funding by 2022 — and the sector only found footing in MENA three years ago.

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