UAE-based FinTech startup Sarwa raises $15M

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The UAE-based FinTech startup and investment management platform Sarwa has successfully raised $15M in its latest funding round. The Series B round was led by Mubadala with the participation of 500 Startups, Kuwait Projects Company, Shorooq Partners, Middle East Venture Partners(MEVP), DIFC, Hambro Perks Oryx Fund, HALA Ventures, and Vision Ventures

Launched in 2018, Sarwa is an investment and personal finance platform connecting the GCC market to international stock exchanges and cryptocurrencies. Sarwa is set to revolutionize how young professionals grow their wealth by introducing smart, simple, and affordable digital investing to the region.


 


Since its launch, Sarwa has accumulated 40,000 users engaging with the platform to invest in stocks and build their own portfolios. In 2020, the FinTech startup experienced a surge of new investors in light of the turbulent financial landscape, yet investors realized more than 33 percent average year-on-year returns for a balanced portfolio. Commenting on this investment round which establishes their pioneering position in tech-facilitated international trade across MENA, Sarwa Co-founder and CEO Mark Chahwan highlighted “Thousands of clients already use Sarwa to grow their money and build a better future, and this investment will fuel our growth so that we can reach millions more. We want to ensure that everyone has access to simple, smart, and affordable financial products and services.”

Sarwa is the second UAE-based FinTech startup to raise a multimillion funding round just this month, continuing the steady growth of funding in FinTech across the UAE and MENA. Based on MAGNiTT’s H1 2021 Venture Investment Report, in H1’21 FinTech observed a 121% growth in amount of funding YoY, climbing two ranks to become the second-most funded industry in the region. FinTech accounted for 11% of capital raised in the UAE over H1 2021, however excluding Kitopi’s $415M unicorn round, it would have acquired a 24% share. A share that is surely set to grow now that Sarwa’s Series B is recorded as the highest investment in a UAE-based FinTech startup in 2021. 

In June 2021, Sarwa Invest lowered its minimum investment amount to just US$5 from an initial US$500 to reflect its commitment to democratize investing. Easing the barriers to entry, diversifying product offerings, and integrating tech are key to Sarwa’s success as Rawad Khalife, Executive Director at MEVP elaborates “Sarwa created a unique offering that has helped many grow their wealth the right way. Their highly localized product was built by an incredible team that is passionate about the mission of democratizing financial investing in MENA. They have a rapidly growing base of clients with soaring retention rates, and we expect stickiness to be further strengthened as Sarwa introduces new product offerings soon.

The FinTech startup plans to use the new capital to further expand its market position and grow its team, as well as launch several new products to address all aspects of personal finance. With new guidance as representatives of Mubadala and 500 startups join Sarwa’s Board of Directors, the FinTech startup is set for a stellar scale-up as Ibrahim Ajami, Head of Ventures and Growth at Mubadala Investment Company concluded “When Mubadala looks at early-stage investment opportunities, the quality of the founders is of paramount importance, and we strongly believe that Sarwa’s management team has the vision and passion to lead the company into its next phase of growth.”


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