Islamic FinTech Wahed secures £19.7m for KSA expansion
Digital Islamic investment platform Wahed has closed a £19.7m ($25m) round led by Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures (also known as Wa'ed's Venture Capital), a venture capital investment arm of Saudi Aramco.
The round included participation from existing investors BECO and CueBall Capital, as well as Dubai Cultiv8, and Rasameel.
The new funds will be used to fuel the company’s global expansion, namely in developing the company’s subsidiary in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
Launched in 2017, Wahed is aimed towards Muslim investors with a Sharia-compliant offering.
The firm was recently awarded the first RoboAdvisory permit by the financial regulator, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA), to launch its platform in KSA.
Commenting on the investment, Junaid Wahedna, CEO of Wahed, said: “We’re excited to have the support of Aramco Ventures as we foray into the Saudi market. We consider Aramco a strategic long term partner in both the Kingdom and the rest of the world.”
Wassim Basrawi, Managing Director at Wa’ed Ventures, added: “We believe in Wahed’s mission to provide ethical investing. The company has taken the lead in delivering investment services to one of the world’s fastest growing sectors – Islamic Finance.
“Wahed is also, in the true spirit of FinTech, helping to broaden the investment landscape. This latest funding round will enable Wahed to make Saudi their regional MENA hub and contribute towards a fast-growing FinTech ecosystem.”
The firm’s expanded into Malaysia last year, and now serves more than 100,000 clients globally.
It said its future growth plans for the largest Muslim markets include Indonesia, Nigeria, India and the CIS.
Mehdi Benslimane, Head of Strategy at Wahed, added: “We expect to see outstanding results in the Saudi market as there are no direct competitors and the country is ripe for disruption in line with the government’s Saudi Vision 2030 goals.”