On a mission to educate, enable and empower retail investors in the Middle East, baraka, the fintech startup, has announced the official launch of its commission-free mobile investment app after receiving regulatory authorisation from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) in June 2021.
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. In addition, the app features a simplified dashboard for investors to monitor and track their portfolio, a content hub that includes baraka’s 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 and 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. The feedback we received during the beta testing phase has been invaluable in helping us fine-tune the platform to meet user needs, and we can’t wait for people to finally begin their investment journey now that the app is live.”
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 programme, as part of its Summer 2021 cohort. The Silicon Valley-headquartered startup incubator provides early-stage funding to select applicants from across the globe.
Following its initial $1million pre-seed round, baraka has raised an additional $4million with investment from Global Founders Capital, FJ Labs, Raptor Group, Tribe Capital, Nuwa Capital, VentureSouq, and Class 5 Global. The funds will be used to enhance product features and expand baraka’s user base across the wider Middle East and North Africa region.
Khaled Talhouni, the Managing Partner at Nuwa Capital, said according to menabytes, “baraka is leading the charge in transforming the way in which investors access global capital markets and is at the centre of our thinking of how technology can reinvent entire sectors. We’re also especially privileged to be joining Feras who is singularly suited to take on this massive opportunity.”