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The Y-combinator backed, UAE-based Fintech startup Baraka has successfully raised an impressive $4M in their latest funding round. The Seed round had the participation of major MENA-focused and strategic investors including Global Founders Capital, FJ Labs, Raptor Group, Tribe Capital, Nuwa Capital, VentureSouq, and Class 5 Global.
Based on MAGNiTT's flagship MENA H1 2021 Venture Investment Report, the Fintech sector has observed a remarkable 121% growth in funding in H1 2021 YoY, accounting for 19% of all funds raised in MENA in the first half of the year. Congruently, we also witnessed country-specific Fintech growth, especially in the UAE where the Fintech sector jumped 1 rank to become the second most funded sector in the country after garnering a 49% growth in H1 2021 YoY. This puts the UAE-based Fintech startup Baraka in a favorable position for continual expansion.
Established in 2020, Baraka set on a mission to educate, enable and empower retail investors in the Middle East especially with the recent launch of their commission-free investment app. The baraka app, which is now available to download for users across select GCC markets, provides free and direct access to over 5,000 US-listed securities, including stocks, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), and fractional shares with no minimum investment requirements.
The baraka app features a simplified dashboard for investors to monitor and track their portfolio, a content hub that includes daily market news, and an investment academy for users to build and test their knowledge. For more savvy investors, baraka also offers the option of a paid tier that includes world-class equity research from industry partner, Refinitiv. Feras Jalbout, Founder & CEO of baraka, said: “Since we opened our waitlist in March, more than 10,000 users from across the Middle East have subscribed to be among the first to experience the baraka app. This hasn’t just validated what we’re building, it’s shown us that there is a genuine need for a platform that offers regional retail investors insights and access to international markets.”
Growing support for baraka’s proposition has garnered significant interest from the regional and international investment community. The startup has become the fourth UAE company to be accepted into the highly sought-after Y Combinator accelerator program, the leading Silicon Valley-headquartered startup incubator. The Fintech startup plans to utilize its newly acquired funds to enhance product features and expand baraka’s user base across the wider MENA region.
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