Blockchain-based Takaful insurance platform Takadao has raised US$1.6 million in pre-seed funding, in a round led by Silicon Valley investor Tim Draper through Draper Associates.
This marks the first investment into a Saudi start-up by Tim, according to Takadao. BIM, Core Vision Ventures and Prince Sultan bin Fahad bin Salman Al Saud also participated in the pre-seed round.
“Takadao is one of those companies that you don’t know quite where it’s going to go, but if it succeeds, it’s going to be really impactful and make a big difference in the world and this is a world that I want to live in. The insurance business generally has become corrupted and Takadao is going right after the insurance business with something that’s very pure; the blockchain is pure, Bitcoin is pure, decentralization is pure,” Tim shared.
Draper Associates’s portfolio includes Skype, Hotmail, Robinhood and Coinbase.
Founded by husband-and-wife duo Morrad Irsane and Sharene Lee, Takadao builds community-owned Shariah compliant financial services on the blockchain.
“By vesting ownership with the end users, we ensure that their well-being is the primary focus. Furthermore, shareholder profits get redistributed among the end users. The only way we can do this is through the decentralized blockchain and cryptocurrencies,” explained Sharene, who is also COO.
The start-up has partnered with other Islamic fintech companies such as ZaynFi, MRHB and IBF Net. It also has an external Shariah advisory board.
Takadao has launched Takaturn, a savings and financing product. It is based on the concept of rotating savings and credit association (ROSCA) or Jamaiyah as it is known in the Middle East, ballot committee in Pakistan, chit fund in India and tontine in parts of Africa.
The start-up is currently developing Takasure, a cooperative life insurance product based on the Takaful model, with a view of launching it in June 2024.
Headquartered in Riyadh and held in Singapore, Takadao counts over 10,000 individuals as members of its community, that it says is growing 5% week-on-week.