The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the largest economy and market in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, has various initiatives in the fintech space. These are being supported by Fintech Saudi, the initiative launched by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) in collaboration with the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) to support the development of the fintech industry in Saudi Arabia.
Between 2017 and 2019, the value of fintech transactions increased at a rate of over 18% each year, reaching over $20 billion in 2019. The fintech market in Saudi Arabia is expected to reach transaction values of over $33 billion by 2023. The growth of fintech is part of the Kingdom’s wider Saudi Vision 2030 economic development and diversification transformation.
Fintech Accelerator was launched, a unique innovation and entrepreneurship program; it is powered by Flat6Labs, a Middle East regional startup programme and seed investment management company that fosters and invests in bright and passionate entrepreneurs with innovative and high-growth potential startups. The intensive 3-month program brings together Fintech Saudi’s market reach and Flat6Labs’ resources to provide up to ten fintechs with the best practices, resources, and tools they need to develop and scale their solution-driven businesses.
With the launch of the Fintech Accelerator program, Fintech Saudi aims to empower highly innovative entrepreneurs who display massive potential within the local fintech industry. The program will offer fintechs exposure to investors and provide them with mentorship and coaching from renowned professionals with an array of skill sets. Fintechs will also be given the chance to enhance their pitching skills and showcase their solutions at regional and global events.
According to Nejoud Al Mulaik, the Director of Fintech Saudi, “The Fintech Accelerator is an important milestone for Fintech Saudi. Over the last year we have seen a threefold increase in the number of fintech companies operating in Saudi Arabia and we want this trend to continue and contribute to the goals of Saudi Vision 2030. We are therefore delighted to collaborate with Flat6Labs to launch the Fintech Accelerator program that will provide entrepreneurs with the key skills, support and access they need to grow their fintech business in the Kingdom.”
Ramez El-Serafy, the CEO of Flat6Labs, says, “We’re very excited to be launching the Fintech Accelerator program with Fintech Saudi. With the huge shift in market trends towards fintech solutions and cashless financial systems, we can clearly see the opportunity for Saudi entrepreneurs to innovate, create, and lead the market towards innovative and unexplored solutions. Our collaboration with Fintech Saudi will enable us to create the perfect environment to foster fintech companies and accelerate their growth.”
For fintech companies to participate in the Fintech Accelerator program, they must have developed innovative fintech solutions that display a clear interest in the Saudi market and have the ability to transform the sector. Participating fintechs should also be registered as private companies, have validated business models with existing users, and have generated income over the past three months. Interested fintech companies can apply to be a part of the Fintech Accelerator program through Fintech Saudi’s website until October 25th 2020.
It was reported by The FinTech Times that Fintech Saudi also launched their Fintech Saudi Annual Report, which consists of a number of sections including an overview of the fintech
industry by KPMG, the view from fintechs from MAGNiTT and interviews with the SAMA Regulatory
Sandbox and the CMA FinTech Lab.