DUBAI: If you’re in the tech space in the Middle East, the chances that you’ve heard of Gitex before are quite high. As one of the biggest tech events in the region, it’s been held successfully in Dubai for the last two decades. Getting bigger and better every year, this year's DWTC will be expecting over 100,000 people to attend. Gitex is made up of seven separate events running simultaneously over the week, but the event many global brands are most interested in is Fintech Surge, as industry leading advisory brands such as Deloitte predict the value of the MENA Fintech market is set to reach over $3.5 billion.
The fintech scene in the MENA region is booming, with H1 market reports showing record funding raised, surpassing $815,000,000 to date, and showing no signs of slowing down. Ahmad Alwazzan, EVP at Tap Payments Middle East, states, “The combination of dynamic government initiatives, such as the Dubai Metaverse Strategy and Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, coupled with one of the most youthful regions in the world, has made MENA a powerhouse of innovations and start-ups. There is a thriving energy in the Middle East that we see in both Tap Payment’s internal teams and our partners, where industries are redefining global regulatory trends to suit the rapidly changing world around them, which appeals to local entrepreneurs and international players,” finishes Alwazzan.
Gitex Fintech Surge brings together the region’s best and brightest in Fintech to discuss all topics within the industry that everyone’s been talking about. As shown across industry reports, such as a recent report by Dealroom.co, payment brands monopolize the power within the fintech market. With $1.9 billion raised since 2016, payment firms have dominated MENA fintech fundraising. Crypto and mortgages and lending are next, with almost $0.4 billion.
One of the major developments in the area over the past two years has been Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL), with about $500 million in VC money raised. Leading firms in the market include MNT-Halan and ValU in Egypt, Tamara in Riyadh, which received an incredible $110 million in funding, and for Dubai Postpay and Tabby, the latter of which raised more than $150 million in equity and debt in the previous two years. It's interesting to note that BNPL is also expanding into the B2B space with Riyadh-based Lamaa, which raised $5.5M in seed funding in December.
The liberalization of Saudi Arabia's economy is creating exciting opportunities for investors and innovators in the region and beyond. A revamped framework for open banking today emphasizes Saudi Arabia's dedication to expanding its financial services sector, one of the key objectives of Saudi Vision 2030 and a step toward making Saudi Arabia a regional and global fintech hub. By making access available, financial technology (fintech) entrepreneurs have far fewer barriers to entry, which frees up their imagination and revolutionary potential. Open banking provides outside businesses access to a bank's technology and customer data in order to create new products and services.
Fintech Surge does a deep dive into the factors and companies powering this growth, and the current potential for the market is vast. “In the course of onboarding over 100,000 merchants, we have seen the MENA region turn into a flourishing ecosystem of early-stage startups and SMBs,” asserts Ali Abulhasan, Co-Founder and CEO of Tap Payments. He continues, “This is an incredible attribute to the government and local initiatives that keep drawing attention to the development of startups. Our goal is to continue to support startups and the innovation they bring to core markets and to create an ecosystem that helps them scale easily. This is also why I am always keen to participate in industry-leading events like Fintech Surge and be involved in competitive pitching activities like the Supernova Challenge, which offers more opportunities to showcase innovative startups.”
Be sure to register now to meet the Tap Payments team and learn more about MENA paytech.