e& enterprise, a subsidiary Emirates Telecommunications Group (better known as etisalat by e&), is acquiring a majority stake in Dubai-based P2P finance platform Beehive, which offers Shariah compliant products.
Formalizing its intention via a binding agreement, e& enterprise — which offers B2B digital solutions — will acquire 61—69% of Beehive at an enterprise value of US$35 million, via a combination of primary capital injection and purchase of existing shares to be paid in cash. The financial impact of the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, is immaterial to the group’s consolidated financials, according to a bourse filing.
Salvador Anglada, CEO of e& enterprise, commented: “The acquisition of Beehive’s digital lending platform marks the second step in e& enterprise’s journey in the fintech space, after the launch of UAE Trade Connect in 2021. SMEs are important drivers of the economy and there is a need more than ever to support their unique financing needs,” said Salvador Anglada, CEO of e& enterprise.
Beehive was founded in 2014 by Craig Moore, with the support of Rick Pudner, the former group CEO of Emirates NBD Bank. It was MENA’s first regulated P2P lender, and it focuses on addressing the GCC SME credit gap, estimated to be about US$250 billion.
In 2020, it expanded into Saudi Arabia with a partnership Gulf International Bank; and last year, it secured a license to operate in Oman. Offering both conventional and Shariah compliant SME financing, Beehive has facilitated over AED1.5 billion (US$408.41 million)-worth of financing and raised US$15.5 million in funding for itself.
“As one of the very first regional fintech, this is a validation of the Beehive team’s incredible effort over the last nine years and reflects the vibrancy and success of the UAE’s startup ecosystem,” commented Craig.
This also marks the next step in e& enterprise’s expansion. The firm said in a statement that the move demonstrates its commitment to opening new avenues of growth across the UAE and in the region while enabling Beehive to scale its business and expand its offerings.