Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has announced that 11 firms have been chosen to take part in its accelerator programme for new financial technologies, known as FinTech Hive.
The programme, which is being launched in partnership with management consultancy Accenture, is a 12-week course that will see the selected firms working closely with financial institutions and other stakeholders to help develop their concepts.
DIFC said that several criteria were used to evaluate finalists, including the level of business maturity, the potential to thrive within its ecosystem and the suitability of the firm’s fit with its partnering financial institution.
Among the firms chosen to take part in the first accelerator programme are Bridg, which is a United Arab Emirates-based technology that allows phones to send and receive money via encrypted information while offline, a Shariah-compliant peer-to-peer financing network from Azerbaijan known as Maliyya, a Jordanian intelligent chat bot business known as Labiba and a Singapore-based robo-advisory wealth management product known as WeInvest.
“Today marks a pivotal moment for FinTech Hive at DIFC,” said Raja Al Mazrouei, acting executive vice president of Fintech Hive at DIFC. “Not only are we kicking off the first cycle of the accelerator programme, but we are also excited to announce our first batch of finalists.
“These 11 start-ups demonstrate a delicate balance of remarkable vision, practical application and commercial potential in the Fintech space,” Al Mazrouei added.
The financial institutions partnering with the firms within the first accelerator programmme include HSBC, Mashreq Bank, Emirates NBD, Standard Chartered and Visa. The firms will also receive advice on Islamic finance from Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre and legal advice from law firms including Clyde & Co and Simmons & Simmons.
The programme will culminate in an investor day in mid-November, where firms in the accelerator can pitch to potential investors, banks and government officials.
Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi’s financial centre, Abu Dhabi Global Markets, has said that the deadline for submissions for its first Fintech Abu Dhabi Innovation Challenge closes on Friday.
Its programme is a five-week event culminating in October where it is looking for “innovative and mature” start-ups to tackle 15 specific issues in six main areas, including financial and investment management, financial inclusion, regulatory technology and insurance technology.