InvestSky, a social investing platform which offers Halal solutions, have secured US$3.4 million in pre-seed funding to aid the fintech start-up’s retail expansion in the GCC.
Led by Emkan Capital, the funding round was participated by S3 Ventures, Al-Romaizan family office and angel investors including Mishal Al-Mishari, the deputy CEO of food delivery app Jahez.
The funding will go toward launching a commission-free platform allowing individuals to invest in fractional stocks starting from US$1. The platform will feature a social community for users to collaborate.
“It will also provide market intelligence data which will further empower investors to make more informed decisions aligned with their investment principles whether they are Shariah compliance or focused on positive social and environmental impacts,” explained InvestSky.
Founded in 2021 by Nitish Mittal and Turki Alshaikh, the start-up obtained a category 4 license from the Dubai Financial Services Authority.
“We founded InvestSky on the recognition that retail investors are a hugely influential group across the Middle East, yet the offering for them is clearly lagging behind. The region has not scratched the surface when it comes to the engagement and education of retail investors, especially considering the significant purchasing power, high GDP per capita and beneficial demographics,” explained CEO Nitish, who was previously attached to Rocket Internet and noon.com.
The GCC is home to some 8 million retail investors, and is part of MENA which boasts some US$1.2 trillion in retail investment flows, according to some estimates.
“The retail investor services market in the region is still highly untapped. The number of retail investors using fintech solutions grew by more than 180% over the past year, in Saudi alone, according to the Capital Market Authority. Beyond this, we see a big gap in financial inclusion, with female retail investors making up less than 27% of investors. We believe that educating our users is key to building a sustainable market by improving both financial literacy and inclusion,” explained Co-Founder Turki, whose career included stints at Deloitte and Jada Fund of Funds.