FinTech: Digital Islamic Investment Platform Wahed Invest Lands $25M
Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures, a.k.a. Wa’ed Ventures led the round.
Wahed Invest, a digital Islamic investment platform aimed at Muslim investors with a sharia-compliant offering, has raised $ 25 million. Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures (also known as Wa’ed Ventures) led the round. Existing investors such as BECO, CueBall Capital, Dubai Cultiv8, and Rasameel also participated. (The Fintech Times)
Expansion in Saudi Arabia
Wahed Invest, which is based out of London and New York City, recently obtained the first Robot Advisory permit by Saudi Arabia’s Capital Markets Authority, enabling it to launch the platform in the country.
Wahed will use the funds raised in the current financing round to support its global expansion, including the development of its subsidiary in Saudi Arabia.
“We’re excited to have the support of Aramco Ventures as we foray into the Saudi market,” said Junaid Wahedna, CEO of Wahed Invest. “We consider Aramco a strategic long term partner in both the Kingdom and the rest of the world.”
“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,” said Mehdi Benslimane, Head of Strategy.
The company also has future growth plans for the large Muslim markets including Indonesia, Nigeria, India, and the CIS.
Wahed Invest promises “ethical investing, for everyone.”
Its halal investment fund is structured following Islamic principles. The company’s board screens investments for excessive debt, tobacco, alcohol, firearms, gambling, adult entertainment, impure food stocks, and usurious institutions.
Besides, Wahed conducts a financial screening for the presence of interest, or Riba, and certain debt ratios.
There is a rising demand for such ethical, or halal investing and Wahed Invest has created a product that combines Sharia law and modern investment theory.
It functions through a mobile app that is available in the US, UK, and Malaysia. The global platform provides free portfolio recommendations and claims there are no hidden fees.
Wahed Invest now boasts of over 100,000 clients globally.
Islamic finance one of the world’s fastest-growing sectors
Wassim Basrawi, Managing Director at Wa’ed Ventures said Wahed Invest had taken the lead in Islamic Finance, one of the world’s fastest-growing sectors.
The funding would enable Wahed Invest to make Saudi their regional MENA hub, he added.
Wa’ed Ventures provides loan financing and venture capital to companies looking for a partner. It invests in a broad range of early-stage companies, in an attempt to support the development of small and medium-sized enterprises in Saudi Arabia.
Established in 2011, Wa’ed has supported more than 100 diverse entrepreneurial businesses in Saudi Arabia. Investment sectors spanned industrial oil and gas, healthcare, education, entertainment, and industrial services, food processing, technology, energy, and manufacturing.
Related Story: A Fixed Income ETF for Exposure to Sukuks
Feature Image: Wa’ed reinforces support to Saudi SMEs by launching its pavilion at GITEX Technology Week 2017 in Dubai
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