Looking to strengthen its place in the Tanzanian Islamic finance marketplace, SSC Capital is looking to roll out another Shariah compliant product to bridge the demand for Islamic financing in the country.
Tanzania’s SSC Capital, a corporate and investment management firm, will be adding Shirkah Invest to its portfolio of Shariah compliant products. Dubbed the first Shariah compliant robo-advisory platform in Tanzania, Shirkah Invest will provide investors with four services: savings, investment, insurance and retirement packages.
“SSC Capital decided to launch Shirkah Invest as we realized that the Tanzanian marketspace is lacking products and services which targets investors that are looking for Shariah compliant products,” Salum Awadh, CEO of SSC Capital, tells IFN.
Looking to roll out in the first quarter of 2021, Shirkah Invest will initially tap the Tanzanian market in the first six months before expanding into other African markets and possibly the Middle East in the near future. The platform is also targeting at least 100,000 users in the first three years of launching.
In February, SSC Capital rolled out Shirkah Investment Network, an Islamic investment scheme aiming to serve individual and institutional investors. IFN previously reported that the initial plan for the network was to convert it into a fund once it has US$1 million to US$2.5 million in assets under management but 10 months down the road, it would seem that the investment scheme is taking a different approach.
“We are looking to split the network into two windows: one will be a fintech app which is Shirkah Invest that will target retail and institutional investors to invest in Shariah compliant assets and another window will be a fund. We are still at the designing stage and the plan is to convert it into a venture capital that will specifically invest in start-ups rather than a traditional investment fund,” Salum explains.
Tanzania, home to roughly 13.45 million Muslim population, has a relatively nascent Islamic finance market which is believed to be caused by the lack of regulatory framework governing Islamic banking.
However, in January 2020, the Bank of Tanzania, which regulates the Islamic banking industry, engaged local and international industry practitioners to obtain feedback on its efforts to establish a regulatory framework for Islamic banking and finance.
Targeting the Tanzanian diaspora, Shirkah Invest Network was established to bridge the gap in Shariah compliant financing in Tanzania and since its inception the network has attracted 26-30 active investors. The network also launched a Shariah index to track its assets and to ease investment in the financial market.
“We signed a contract with one of the technology providers to sell us a platform that members can use to sign in, make investments and have meetings virtually. Apart from that, we also added a new membership category and we are looking to onboard investment clubs and savings schemes, which we did not have initially,” says Salum.
Looking ahead, SSC Capital is in talks to launch the network in Kenya in 2021.