Fintech Digest: Mubadala Remains Optimistic About Crypto Investmentsby Fintechnews Africa 19 December 2021
Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund Mubadala has made investments in the crypto ecosystem amidst its growing value, Reuters reported.
“This is a business that had, what $200 billion worth of crypto value two years ago, and it’s two and a half trillion dollars today and growing,”
the report cited Mubadala CEO Khaldoon Al Mubarak as saying.
Al Mubarak added that while many people remained sceptical about crypto as an investment, “I don’t fall in that category.”
Without disclosing how much the fund expects to plough into crypto investment, Al Mubarak noted that Mubadala was investing in crypto-related infrastructure, such as blockchain technology and energy usage.
Meanwhile, Mubadala has also backed a number of local and international fintech companies this year. Globally, it led Berlin-based insurtech startup WeFox’s US$125 million Series B, and participated in a US$100 million Series C for Chicago-based multi-issuer technology platform Halo.
It also funnelled funds towards local fintech startups BNPL company tabby (US$50 million venture round), personal investments app Sarwa (US$15 million Series B) and insurtech startup Hala (US$5 million venture round).
Further, Mubadala also backed VC VentureSouq’s US$50 million MENA FinTech Fund I, and the Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners venture fund this year.
MEA Fintech News Highlights
The Arab Monetary Fund and Mastercard sign an MoU for interoperability between Mastercard and cross-border multi-currency payment system Buna (Fintech News Middle East).
Ugandan superapp SafeBoda receives funding from Google’s US$50 million Africa Investment Fund (Fintech News Africa).
Canada-based digital transaction platform BlocPal International and its majority-owned Nigerian subsidiary PayPassage to launch a financial services marketplace in Nigeria (Fintech News Africa).
Nigeria-headquartered mobility fintech Moove expands to Kenya (Tech-ish).
Nigeria-based global share dealing app Trove Finance wins the fourth edition of the annual Ecobank Fintech Challenge (BusinessPost).
Nigeria’s African Blockchain Lab picks up US$6 million in a pre-Series A round for its crypto wallet VIBRA (Disrupt Africa).
Challenger bank Tyme closes its US$180 million Series B round with US$70 million funding from Tencent and CDC (Fintech News Africa).
Access Bank and South African challenger bank Bettr announce a partnership as the latter looks to launch in March 2022 (Zawya).
Saudi Arabia’s Fintech Accelerator Program now offers a new regulatory track (The Fintech Times).
Saudi based blockchain company Wethaq Securities launches in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (Unlock).
Digital wallet solution EasyCash by Wallet Factory soft launches in Egypt (Zawya).
Uber and Paymob partner to launch in-app payment solutions in Egypt (The Paypers).
Qatar-based digital bak Qatar Islamic Bank launches a new remittance service, Visa Direct, in partnership with Visa (The Fintech Times).
UAE-based lending platform Lnddo partners with global SaaS cloud banking platform Mambu for a scalable SME digital lending solution (Fintech News Middle East).
Global cryptocurrency exchange Binance may set up a global base in Dubai (Fintech News Middle East).
Dubai’s Global Ventures is close to raising US$100 million for a second fund, for funding target sectors including fintech (Reuters).
UAE and India look to strike deals in fintech space (Gulf News).
Commercial Bank of Dubai opens its Digital Lab at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Innovation Hub (TradeArabia).
Network International announced as payment and technology partner for the UAE’s first licensed digital-only bank, Al Maryah Community Bank (TradeArabia).
Israeli fintech unicorn Rapyd is opening an office in Dubai (Fintech News Middle East).
Israeli challenger bank First Digital Bank raises US$120 million in a Series A round (Fintech News Middle East).
Pakistan-based digital bookkeeping solution CreditBook secures US$11 million in a pre-Series A round (Fintech News Middle East).
“In many ways, the development of the fintech industry across the African continent represents a turning point, as mobile technologies take over even as the population remains largely underbanked. From the striking rise of crypto in the continent, and the funding boom across the fintech sector, to the launch of central bank digital currencies, and the dominance of mobile money, fintech has had a coming-of-age in the continent in 2021…”
Here are some exciting fintech events in Africa for you to attend in 2022.
“This trend is true for the Middle East as well, but locally, banking and wealth management solutions cater largely to HNWIs. This means that the mass affluent demographic has limited support to their investment strategy, a gap that robo-advisory platforms (both local and international) in the Middle East have stepped up to address…”
Read more about the Middle East’s homegrown robo-advisory platforms here.
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Featured image: Unsplash (edited)
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