As many as five fintech companies based in the UAE have found a place in the list of Forbes Middle East Top 30 Fintech Companies for 2023. The five companies are Optasia, Tabby, Sarwa, Telr, and Tarabut Gateway.
Furthermore, the UAE-headquartered YAP also finds place in the Forbes List. YAP is a financial super app for individuals and businesses, and it partners with traditional banks to provide users with digital bank accounts.
It has been operating in the Emirates since 2021 and has partnered with Bank AlJazira to expand into Saudi Arabia in 2023. YAP is now in pilot in Ghana and Pakistan, with plans to launch commercially in 2023. The company raised $45 million in funding and had onboarded approximately 200,000 customers and over 10,000 SMEs.
Egypt tops the Forbes list with eight fintech companies followed by Saudi Arabia with six companies, and Kuwait with five. The remaining five fintech firms are from different countries including Morocco, Jordan, and Bahrain.
“While the companies on our 2023 list of the Middle East’s top Fintechs confirmed having zero or limited exposure to Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and are expecting it to have a minimal impact on regional players, the global banking and finance system is still reeling from the bank’s collapse and the potential longer-term effects are still playing out,” Forbes Middle East said.
SVB was also a lender, banking partner, and payments technology provider. SVB’s clients accounted for 71% of all Fintech IPOs between 2020 and 2022.
The payment companies dominated the list with Egypt’s e-payment platform Fawry ranking first, having processed transactions of $6.8 billion and serving 49.4 million customers in 2022. Jordan’s MadfooatCom ranks second, having served over 3.6 million active users and processed transactions of $14.7 billion in 2022.
Several companies have raised funding in the last year, including Egypt’s MNT-Halan, which secured over $200 million from Chimera Abu Dhabi in February 2023 to become the latest unicorn from the region.
Tabby also raised $58 million in a Series C funding round in January 2023, bringing its valuation to $660 million, while Saudi’s Tamara announced in March 2023 a debt facility of $150 million from Goldman Sachs, bringing its total funding in equity and debt to $366 million, Forbes Middle East added.
UAE Fastest Growing Hub
It may be recalled that the UAE is one of the fastest-growing FinTech hubs in the world, with a rapidly expanding ecosystem of start-ups and established companies driving innovation and growth in the industry.
With a supportive regulatory environment, advanced technological infrastructure, and a vibrant startup ecosystem, the UAE has become a leading destination for companies looking to establish a presence in the Middle East. In this article, we will take a closer look at the industry in the UAE, including its growth, advantages, and challenges, as well as a comprehensive overview of the top 100 FinTech companies in the United Arab Emirates.
In its market research report entitled “The UAE Fintech Market 2023-2028,”, the UAE’s first fully featured digital wallet – payit- powered by First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), said that the Emirates’ fintech market is projected to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 10%.
Another report estimated the UAE’s fintech market at around $39.3 billion (in terms of transaction value) and is poised to register a CAGR of more than 15% till 2030. The COVID-19 pandemic has sped up the adoption and integration of ESG practices in business and government and promoted the sustainable finance sector globally.
A joint study by Dubai Economy and Visa, a global leader in digital payments, showed that the UAE eCommerce industry is predicted to continue growing as more UAE customers want online payment choices and merchants increasingly recognize the necessity for an online presence.
The pandemic has led to an increase in internet buying for 49% of UAE customers. Additionally, three out of five people (61%) now prefer to use digital wallets to pay for items online rather than cash on delivery.