Saturday, April 13, 2024
Editor's PickAnother Saudi start-up prepares to enter Islamic fintech market

Another Saudi start-up prepares to enter Islamic fintech market

FataFeat, a savings and investment app targeting youths, is laying the foundation to launch in the Saudi market having recently graduated from the Fintech Saudi’s Fintech Seed Virtual Accelerator.

Although the company was incorporated in Delaware in 2018, FataFeat, which has had several reiterations of its business model, plans to officially launch next year.

“The original idea was to build a blockchain-based payment and saving application for children in Saudi Arabia and neighboring countries,” FataFeat CEO and Co-Founder Dr Husam Yaghi, shared with IFN Fintech.

However, at that time, there were hesitance against blockchain due to negative media coverage on crypto currencies, which led FataFeat to pivot, according to Husam. “In 2022, we decided to build FataFeat on a banking-as-a-service platform and use open banking APIs to accomplish the objectives of FataFeat.”

FataFeat is a mobile application targeting those between the ages of 14 and 24. It is an app enabling users to save, invest and gain financial management skills in addition to the typical adjacent services such as bill payment and remittances. One may liken it to the US-based Acorns as it facilitates incremental or micro investing by enabling automatic savings through the rounding up of the total bill when making a purchase.

The app will also provide financial education content adapted to the user’s age group and an option for users to invest their savings into Tadawul-listed exchange-traded funds.

Expecting to fully launch in 2024, the start-up may begin looking at applying for a Capital Markets Authority license in its second year of operations. It expects to expand beyond the Saudi borders in 2026.

Husam is no stranger to fintech entrepreneurship: FataFeat aside, he also co-founded two other Islamic fintech start-ups – Ateon and BlocMint.

FataFeat was one of 11 start-ups which graduated from the Fintech Seed Virtual Accelerator recently. According to Husam, the start-up will join Fintech Saudi’s Accelerator Program this month.

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