Unprecedented number of start-ups apply for DIFC FinTech Hive’s latest pioneering accelerator programme

DUBAI, DIFC FinTech Hive, the first and largest financial technology accelerator in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, MEASA, region, has attracted an unprecedented 620 global, regional and local applications for the signature programme.

The 620 applications for the intake, exceed the previous record of 425, received in 2019. The applications represent an exceptionally broad range of concepts, submitted by an impressive pool of talent which reflects the DIFC’s reputation for nurturing financial innovation.

Specialists include FinTech, InsurTech, RegTech and Islamic FinTech. Key technologies within the submissions include contactless payments, digital identification, and corporate solutions including treasury management, credit-underwriting automation, data management and analytics.

30 percent of applications were from UAE-based firms, demonstrating a strong pipeline of financial technology talent within the Emirates. Some 46 percent came from the MENA region and 24 per cent were received from global firms.

Nearly two-thirds of the applications were from start-ups in the pre-seed stage, whilst nearly one-third (29 percent) were from the seed stage. This indicates sustained interest in Dubai and the DIFC from new entrepreneurs and early-stage start-ups, supporting the Centre’s vision to drive a strong innovation pipeline.

Since the launch of DIFC FinTech Hive in January 2017, the hub has grown to become a leading centre of innovation globally. More than 50 per cent of all FinTech businesses in the Middle East and North Africa now operate from the DIFC. The first half of 2020 saw DIFC FinTech Hive triple in size with the opening of a larger space in Gate Avenue supporting start-ups, scale-ups and entrepreneurs.

Commenting on the announcement, Raja Al Mazrouei, Executive Vice President of DIFC FinTech Hive, said, “Our enabling infrastructure, fit-for-purpose-regulation, subsidised licencing and access to some of the world’s pioneering financial institutions are amongst the reasons why start-ups look to the DIFC for growth.”

The DIFC FinTech Hive accelerator programme includes an intensive, competitive application process. Selected businesses participate in a 14-week curriculum, providing a springboard for seed and pre-seed start-ups to expand in the MEASA region.

During the programme, successful start-ups will unlock opportunities to develop, test and modify their innovations in collaboration with top executives and world-leading financial institutions from the DIFC’s dynamic and robust ecosystem.


Source: Emirates News Agency

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