• 22 finalists join the 2018 edition, along with 21 partners
  • The 2018 Programme expands its scope beyond Fintech to include Insurtech, RegTech and Islamic Fintech

Dubai, UAE: – FinTech Hive, the first and largest financial technology accelerator in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, announced today the commencement of the 2018 edition of its accelerator programme, in partnership with Accenture. The second edition received an overwhelming response of over 300 applications that were created from all around the world, of which 22 finalists were selected.

The accelerator programme consists of a 12-week curriculum in which a group of selected finalists work closely with financial institutions and other stakeholders to create innovative and forward-looking solutions that aim to address the evolving needs of the region’s financial services industry. Applicants were evaluated by the programme’s 21 partners. The partners assessed the applications through a set of criteria, including business proposition viability, applicability of technology to the region, potential to benefit from the programme mentorship and the entrepreneurs behind the companies, followed by extensive one-on-one interviews.

The 2018 edition of FinTech Hive will feature a larger pool of startups, which doubled to 22 this year, along with a broader scope that covers FinTech, InsurTech, RegTech and Islamic FinTech. Out of the 300 applications received, 50% were for FinTech solutions, while the remaining 50% were divided amongst InsurTech (20%), Islamic FinTech (15%) and RegTech (15%). With its expanded remit, FinTech Hive continues to lead the region’s efforts in providing an enabling environment for innovative solutions to contribute to the development of the financial services industry, in line with Dubai Plan 2021 and DIFC’s 2024 Strategy.

“The extraordinary quality and overwhelming quantity of proposals we received this year is testament to the growing interest in FinTech Hive and the industry’s trust in its collaborative platform. As the region’s FinTech industry continues to provide unique solutions that address the evolving needs, we are committed to providing the FinTech space with invaluable access to, and feedback from, an international network of strategic partners and well-established financial institutions looking for innovative solutions to their everyday challenges,” said Raja Al Mazrouei, Executive Vice President of FinTech Hive at DIFC.

This year’s programme partners include:

  • Strategic partners: Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC)
  • Principal Financial institution partners: Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Emirates Islamic, Emirates NBD, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC, Noor Bank, Riyad Bank, Standard Chartered, UAE Exchange, and Visa
  • Financial institution partners: Arab Bank, Citi, Mashreq, MasterCard, National Bank of Fujairah
  • Insurance partners: ADNIC, AIG, Noor Takaful, Takaful Emarat Insurance PSC and Zurich Insurance

In the first phase of the 12-week programme, the finalists will present to executives from FinTech Hive’s partners to introduce their technology offerings, obtain preliminary feedback and discuss potential mentorship opportunities.

The subsequent phase will revolve around engagement and mentorship between the finalists and partners, whilst gearing up for their pitch preparations for Investor Day, set to conclude the programme by the end of November. On Investor Day, each start-up will promote its concept to a host of investors, bankers, government officials and members of the media. Senior executives from DIFC Authority and Accenture will also be available throughout the programme to provide clarity around business procedures and the regulatory framework in the Centre. 

FinTech Hive’s alumni who choose to join DIFC’s thriving community will benefit from a world-class ecosystem that offers an Innovation Testing License (ITL) if needed, a FinTech license, an interactive and collaborative workspace, along with access to the largest financial community in the region.

Earlier this year, FinTech Hive announced that it is collaborating with Accenture’s FinTech Innovation Labs globally to further cement the accelerator’s position amongst the most reputable financial hubs in the world. The move will bring about countless opportunities for innovators in the region by connecting them to Accenture’s Fintech Innovation Labs in New York, Hong Kong and London.

The finalists selected for the 2018 cycle of the FinTech Hive at DIFC accelerator programme are:

bankbuddy.ai (India)

Pre-built artificial Intelligence solutions for financial institutions with customer experience management, hyper-personalisation and operations automation.

Game Change Solutions (United Arab Emirates)

Enterprise solutions for social banking, chat commerce and frontline productivity, enabling "Social banking" and "Social Selling" to allow banks to embed their brand and services such as payments, e-commerce into any social and messaging applications.

Amplified Payment System Ltd (Nigeria)

Connects banks, telecommunication companies and businesses to their customers to drive adoption of digital financial services through messaging.

Verify Payments (Bahrain)

Instant, low-cost bank transfers across the GCC

PaySky (Egypt)

Next-generation, multi-channel payment solutions empowering consumers and businesses to pay and get paid.

Jaib (Jordan)

Card-less and bank-less payment method that incorporates machine learning and consumer lending to provide the most seamless and secure means of transaction between retailers and emerging market customers. 

Spare  (Kuwait)

Micro-savings application to improve customers’ spending habits and help them grow their savings.

iWealth (United Arab Emirates)

Education platform integrated with a mobile app, digital wallet, and bank cards, focusing on increasing Finance Intelligence for teens and parents at home by teaching healthy money habits.

Limitless  (United Kingdom)

A mobile application targeting millennials to help them start investing.

Verismart (USA)

Identity blockchain platform using artificial intelligence to automate KYC processes across digital platforms. 

Money Mall (United Arab Emirates)

Financial coaching & personalised product recommendations, based on credit score, for everyone to achieve their financial goals and happiness

ebooc (United Arab Emirates)

A multi-participant loyalty program operating on blockchain & NFC technology.

bondsmart (United Kingdom)

Co-ownership bond platforms, helping financial institutions present fixed income in a simpler manner and their clients to invest bite-size amounts in institutional bonds.

Jibrel  (Switzerland)

Smart contract development company on blockchain technology, leveraging the latest innovations in cryptography, distributed ledger and smart contract technology to build the financial networks of the future.

Haseed (Saudi Arabia)

Robo-advisor that combines proven wealth management advancements with the crucial infrastructure to enable Islamic investments and address the underserved GCC region. 

Blinking.id (Serbia)

Blockchain-based digital identity and KYC solution offering GDPR compliance to business

Amani Technologies Ltd (United Arab Emirates)

Fully-automated KYC and on-boarding tool that will transform the on-boarding processes, eliminate noncompliance and create a KYC audit and reporting trail, whilst improving customer experience and reducing costs.

Addenda (United Arab Emirates)

End-to-end insurance settlement layer built on the blockchain using Hyperledger Fabric, allowing insurers to automate claims, cut overheads and identify fraud.

BetterTradeOff FinTech Solutions Ltd (United Arab Emirates)

Life-planning solution powered by advanced statistical models and artificial intelligence to empower people to make optimum decisions when financing their dreams.

InsureVite (Singapore)

Artificial Intelligence and blockchain-powered platform that merges multiple touchpoints into a single contact point and combines multiple administrative processes into sets of algorithmic modules embedded into a chatbot.

Turnkey IS Technologies LTD (United Arab Emirates)

Specialised insurance consultancy services company, providing the insurance industry with innovative “IT as a service” products and solutions for the underwriting cycle.

Virtual i Technologies LLC (United Arab Emirates)

Enables the insurance industry to move from good faith-based underwriting to data-based dynamic decision making.


About Dubai International Financial Centre

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is one of the world’s top financial centres, and the leading financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.  The Centre provides a world-class platform connecting the region’s markets with the economies of Europe, Asia and the Americas and facilitates growth in South-South trade and investment. An onshore, international financial centre, DIFC offers a stable, mature and secure base for financial institutions to develop their wholesale businesses.

The Centre offers all the elements found in the world’s most successful financial industry ecosystems, including an independent regulator and judicial system with a common-law framework, a global financial exchange, inspiring architecture, powerful, enabling support services and a vibrant business community. The infrastructure within the district features ultra-modern office space, retail outlets, cafes and restaurants, art galleries, residential apartments, public green areas and hotels.

Located midway between the global financial centres of New York, London in the West and Singapore, Hong Kong in the East, DIFC (GMT +4) fills a vital time-zone gap with a workday that bridges the market and business hours of financial centres in both Asia and North America.

In 2015, DIFC launched its 2024 growth strategy, a blueprint for the next decade of growth of the financial hub. This strategy aims to stimulate trade and investment flows along the South-South economic corridor encompassing the Middle East, Africa, Southern Asia and Latin America. 

Currently, 2,003 active registered companies operate from the Centre, with a combined workforce of 22,768 professionals.

DIFC continues to pursue expansion into new services and sectors within the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, an area comprising over 72 countries with an approximate population of 3 billion and nominal GDP of US$7.7 trillion.

For further information, please visit our website: difc.ae, or follow us on Twitter @DIFC.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Manal Shaikh

Dubai International Financial Centre Authority

Senior Manager, Communications

Tel: +971 4 362 2453

Email: manal.shaikh@difc.ae 

Joudi Issa

Brunswick Group

Tel: +971 4 560 9600

Email: DIFC@brunswickgroup.com  

© Press Release 2018

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