DIFC Launches ‘Fin­tech Hive’

Arabnet - The Quarterly - - Industry Stories -

In Jan­uary, Dubai In­ter­na­tional Fi­nan­cial Cen­tre (DIFC) and Ac­cen­ture an­nounced the launch of a fin­tech ac­cel­er­a­tor in Dubai. Set to launch in the first quar­ter of 2017, Fin­tech Hive at DIFC will bring cut­ting-edge fi­nan­cial ser­vices tech­nol­ogy to the Mid­dle East, Africa, and South Asian (MEASA) mar­kets, while pro­vid­ing a plat­form that brings fi­nan­cial ser­vices and tech­nol­ogy firms to­gether. Its goal is to in­crease ac­cess to im­prove cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence and drive op­er­a­tional ef­fi­cien­cies in the fi­nan­cial ser­vices sec­tor. The global fin­tech sec­tor has at­tracted more than $50 bil­lion in in­vest­ment since 2010, but cur­rently the MENA re­gion has only at­tracted around one per­cent of that in­vest­ment. Ac­cen­ture was cho­sen to set up and op­er­ate the DIFC Ac­cel­er­a­tor be­cause of its ex­pe­ri­ence and ex­per­tise in build­ing and run­ning fin­tech in­no­va­tion labs in 2010 in New York and Lon­don, and in 2014 in Hong Kong and Dublin. Glob­ally, the Labs’ alumni com­pa­nies have raised more than US$386 mil­lion in ven­ture fi­nanc­ing af­ter par­tic­i­pat­ing in the pro­gram. Fin­tech Hive at DIFC will start with a 12 week ac­cel­er­a­tor pro­gram bring­ing to­gether entrepreneurs to com­pete and ad­dress the grow­ing needs of the re­gion’s fi­nan­cial ser­vices in­dus­try, us­ing in­no­va­tive tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tions. It in­tends to cat­alyze the growth and ef­fi­ciency in a va­ri­ety of ar­eas in­clud­ing trade fi­nance and al­ter­na­tive fi­nance such as P2P pay­ments, and Sharia-based ser­vices. Emirates NBD and Mashreq will be the first lo­cal fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions to join the ac­cel­er­a­tor pro­gram, while HSBC and VISA are the first in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial ser­vices providers.

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