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The UAE-based FinTech and digital financial literacy platform for families Verity has successfully raised $800K in its latest funding round. The Pre-Seed round, preparing for the launch of its fully-integrated family banking and financial literacy app built for the Middle East, was backed by regional Venture Capital firms, including VentureSouq, Wamda, and Beyond Capital, with contributions from prominent angel investors.
With experiential learning at its core, the Verity app provides kids and teens with the tools they need to earn, save, give, and spend responsibly while giving parents the ability to observe and guide their money management. The highly engaging Verity app integrates a reward system, a personalized pre-paid debit card, and familial connectivity to make learning about personal finances both fun and experiential.
As recorded in our Q3 2021 EVM FinTech Venture Investment Report, a remarkable driver for FinTech’s 100% YoY funding growth across MENA was played by pioneers in Blockchain technology, Open Banking, Cryptocurrency, and international exchange platforms, with major rounds closed by the likes of Fintech Galaxy, CoinMENA, BitOasis, Tarabut Gateway, Sarwa, and Baraka in 2021 YTD. This foreshadows MENA's conversion into the fully digitized world of FinTech, where dealing with next-generation technologies that are much faster, sharper, and more efficient would require solid financial literacy. While Early-Stage startups like Sympl in Egypt or Udhaar Book in Pakistan emerge with infrastructure-building innovations, it's equally crucial to observe the knowledge-building practitioners like Verity in the UAE or Manibux in Turkey.
Targeting its UAE launch in the fourth quarter of 2021, with the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) expansion slated for 2022, the Verity app takes a creative and holistic approach to teaching kids and teens between the ages of 8 and 18 personal finance in a real-life environment. Through subscription-based family plans, parents can create sub-accounts for their children, which they can monitor and control as primary account holders. Omar Al Sharif, Co-Founder of Verity, with over 15 years of strategy and marketing experience in the regional entrepreneurship ecosystem, commented: “When Dina, Kamal and I came together to form Verity, our mission was very clear from day one – to make the next generation more financially conscious and financially independent. Verity is built in the region and for the region, so it was important for us to create an app that encompassed our Middle Eastern culture and values, in addition to global citizenship.”
Parents will be able to top up the accounts, set parameters, and spending limits, and initiate a reward system, where kids can earn additional funds after completing specific chores and tasks. Kids then have the options of saving their money, contributing it to a cause of their choice, and spending it using a personalized pre-paid debit card which can be used to make purchases online and in stores. Parents will be notified of all transactions, allowing them to monitor and adjust parameters as needed. Dina Shoman, serial financial literacy entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Verity, commented “Financial literacy is a basic life skill which, unfortunately, we aren’t ‘taught’ early on, if ever. According to S&P Global’s Financial Literacy Survey, approximately 66% of adults are financially illiterate. However, it’s been proven that kids can grasp simple financial concepts from a very young age and that one of the most effective ways for them to learn is by doing.”
The UAE-based FinTech has built an immersive experiential learning experience for its young users championing financial and cultural inclusivity. The Verity team has been observing positive reactions from its community ahead of its app launch and is planning to engage that community fully with incentives for early adopters signing up to their ongoing waitlist. Tammer Qadoumi, General Partner of the VentureSouq MENA Fintech Fund concluded "The transition to a digital-first economy is driven first and foremost by young people, and their influence on how the world lives and works will only get stronger. So the products and services that are most likely to succeed tomorrow are being designed to speak to and relate to that audience. That audience cares a lot about purpose. We believe strongly in the importance of Verity's mission of disseminating financial literacy, in and of itself. But we also believe that by actually caring about financial literacy, Verity's products will resonate more with its target market, and this will drive its growth."
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