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| 03 October, 2017

UAE Exchange to invest over $245mln in fintech acquisitions

Image used for illustrative purpose.
An employee of the Korea Exchange Bank counts one hundred dollar notes at the bank's headquarters in Seoul January 6, 2010.

Image used for illustrative purpose. An employee of the Korea Exchange Bank counts one hundred dollar notes at the bank's headquarters in Seoul January 6, 2010.

REUTERS/Choi Bu-Seok

The company has, so far, invested in online money transfer company remit2india, blockchain company in San Francisco, virtual gifting company Swych and Souq Al Mal

Dubai - The UAE Exchange, the largest money transfer company in the region, has allocated $250 million (Dh917.5 million) for acquisitions in different variances of technology sector namely fintech, blockchain and other digital channels, its CEO said.

Promoth Manghat said the company has already invested 25 per cent of its warchest in the recent acquisitions while a few more deals also in the pipeline which would be announced in the coming months.

"Investing in fintech was the strategy that we had put in place earlier; we have allocated specific amount of $250 million for investments and acquisitions. Of which, we have consumed 25 per cent of that. The change on this sector is very, very transformational and being a very large player we have always embraced new technology and it's the same technology we are pursuing here as well," he said during an interview with Khaleej Times.

The company has, so far, invested in online money transfer company remit2india, blockchain company in San Francisco, virtual gifting company Swych and Souq Al Mal.

"There are more acquisitions in the pipeline - some are at early stage and some at advanced stage mainly in technology arena such as blockchain and digital channel," he added.

Souq Al Mal raises $10m

The UAE Exchange on Tuesday acquired stake in personal finance comparison website Souq Al Mal.

Apart from the UAE Exchange, the UK-based comparison website GoCompare and Saudi based Riyad Taqnia Fund (RTF) became strategic investors with the UAE-based website as part of $10 million fund raising programme.

Ambareen Musa, CEO, of Souq Al Mal, said the comparison website's revenues have grown 300 per cent in the last four years.

"We have been experiencing significant growth in all our markets and our insurance business has increased by 800 per cent over the past year. Service optimization and customer focus have also enabled us to slash our customer acquisition cost by 80 per cent," she said.

"$10-million is enough ammunition to maintain focus on regional growth and for investments in products and brand. We are also looking at Saudi Arabia and Bahrain with an aim to become a Mena player," she said, adding that "GoCompare becomes the first international financial services player to make a strategic investment in a UAE-based fintech company, following the growing trend we're seeing in other industries, most notably Amazon's acquisition of Souq and Didi's backing of Careem, in e-commerce and transport respectively."

waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com

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