Fintech Middle East & Africa

Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures closes $25m round into Islamic FinTech Wahed

Wahed, a digital Islamic investment platform based in London and NYC, has closed a US$25 million investment round led by Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures (also known as Wa’ed Ventures), a venture capital investment arm of Saudi Aramco.

The round included participation from existing investors BECO and CueBall Capital, as well as Dubai Cultiv8, and Rasameel. The funds will be used to fuel the company’s ambitious global expansion, namely in developing the company’s subsidiary in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

Launched in 2017, Wahed is aimed towards Muslim investors with a Sharia-compliant offering. Wahed was recently awarded the first RoboAdvisory permit by the financial regulator, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA), to launch its platform in KSA. Commenting on the investment, Junaid Wahedna, CEO of Wahed, said: “We’re excited to have the support of Aramco Ventures as we foray into the Saudi market. We consider Aramco a strategic long term partner in both the Kingdom and the rest of the world.”

Wahed has tapped into the rising demand for Islamic and ethical investments, a sector that merges Sharia law and modern investment theory. It has created an easy to use global platform, with free portfolio recommendation and no hidden fees. Available through a mobile app, the platform is accessible in the US, UK, and Malaysia.

Wassim Basrawi, Managing Director at Wa’ed Ventures, made the following statement: “We believe in Wahed’s mission to provide ethical investing. The company has taken the lead indelivering investment services to one of the world’s fastest growing sectors – Islamic Finance.Wahed is also, in the true spirit of FinTech, helping to broaden the investment landscape. Thislatest funding round will enable Wahed to make Saudi their regional MENA hub and contributetowards a fast-growing FinTech ecosystem.”

Wahed’s foray into Malaysia last year bolstered their global presence, and they now serve over 100,000 clients globally, with future growth plans for the largest Muslim markets including Indonesia, Nigeria, India and the CIS.

Mehdi Benslimane, Head of Strategy at Wahed, added “We expect to see outstanding results in the Saudi market as there are no direct competitors and the country is ripe for disruption in line with the government’s Saudi Vision 2030 goals.”

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