Business Dubai


The Middle East-Africa (MEA) region is ripe for a new breed of complex fintech startups, in our view, as the industry becomes more prominent — including Islamic Fintech, InsurTech, RegTech and blockchain-based solutions. Moreover, changes in technological advances, regulation and customer preferences are forcing the region’s large banks to take a lead in digital transformation.

MEA fintech startups are expected to more than double between 2020-22, albeit from a low base, given limited funding, talent and tailored regulation. Foundations for a stronger growth outlook were nevertheless made in 2018, given new regulatory frameworks, government support, more venture-capital investment and banking partnerships.

Investment into Middle East fintech via venture capital are expected to grow to 2 billion dollars in 2022 to fund about 465 startups. Strong momentum will start from 2019. Even though the UAE showed a fast growing number of startups, the level of investment in the region is still modest. In more than 90 billion dollars by 2017 invested in startups globally since 2010, only 1% was allocated to companies in Middle East and Africa, according to a report by Accenture and Fintech Hive.


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