Open banking platform Tarabut Gateway has secured $13 million in what is said to be the largest FinTech seed round in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The fresh capital will be used in regional expansion and in hiring new staff, the company, which has offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, London and Manama, said.

The investment was led by Target Global, a Berlin-based venture capital firm, Kingsway, CE Ventures, Entrée Capital, Zamil Investment Group, Global Ventures, Almoayed Technologies and Mad’a Investment.

The announcement follows Tarabut Gateway’s recent expansion into the UAE in October 2020.

Abdulla Almoayed, chief executive officer (CEO) and founder, noted that the open banking industry is a “catalyst for transforming the way banks and FinTechs in the region interact with one another”.

“With regional regulators quickly adopting it in their strategies, Tarabut Gateway provides the infrastructure which enables enhanced collaborations between financial institutions and an increasingly agile and flourishing regional FinTech sector.”

As part of its expansion, Tarabut Gateway aims to hire 40 additional team members across MENA by the end of 2021.

Since its establishment in 2017, Tarabut Gateway has developed an open banking API (application programming interface) that allows third-party financial services providers to securely access financial data and develop new apps and services.

The ecosystem allows all partner banks to accelerate their technological partnerships at significantly reduced costs.

The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA)last month issued an open banking policy as part of initiatives to grow the FinTech ecosystem in the kingdom.

(Writing by Brinda Darasha; editing by Cleofe Maceda)

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© ZAWYA 2021