Islamic robo advisor Shirkah Invest is working on introducing a real estate product this year as it embarks on an aggressive expansion drive.
The Tanzanian Islamic fintech company is in discussions with several property developers to list real estate on its platform, Salum Awadh, CEO of SSC Capital, the operator of Shirkah Invest, told IFN Fintech.
“Our focus is on four asset classes: equities, fixed income where we have Sukuk, but we are also going to do real estate and we are looking at adding start-ups as another asset class probably before the end of the year,” Salum elaborated. In terms of start-ups, the platform will be focusing on tech start-ups operating in the Halal economy.
Launched at the tail end of 2022, Shirkah Invest currently offers investors exposure to Halal stocks and Sukuk in Tanzania. It has about 300 investors presently. The plan is to more than triple that number of investors to 1,000 over the next 12 months. There are also plans to launch money market-based instruments.
Noting that there is a strong demand for digital Halal investment solutions, Salum also highlighted that the Tanzanian market is still unfamiliar about online avenues.
“People still call, they still want to meet physically, they still want some advice before they make any commitment – so, the response has been positive in terms of the interest that people are showing and the number of people signing up. But of course, there have also been challenges in terms of trying to overcome some of these roadblocks that we see,” Salum shared.
Some 34% of Tanzania’s 58 million-strong population are Muslims. The country’s Islamic finance market is still fledgling, although it has seen promising developments recently including the launch of its first-ever Sukuk in 2021 and the introduction of new Takaful regulations last year.