The subsidiary of a government-backed agency has invested millions of dollars into Islamic robo-advisor Wahed Invest, bolstering the New York-headquartered start-up’s US$100 million valuation.
Without disclosing actual figures and the terms of its investments, it has been confirmed that Dubai Cultiv8 Investments, a Shariah compliant asset management firm wholly-owned by Mohammed Bin Rashid Fund for SME, has invested in Wahed Invest through its US$100 million Technology Fund. As a partner, Dubai Cultiv8 will offer growth and expansion capital, sector knowledge and regional expertise to Wahed Invest. It is believed that this is the Dubai firm’s first investment into the Islamic fintech sector, at least in the public eye.
“The demand for Shariah compliant financial solutions is increasing and it is imperative that we adopt a culture of innovation. Partnering with disruptive fintech startups like Wahed Invest, which is driving technological innovation in the fintech sector, will open the door to best-in-class products that promote financial inclusion, literacy and most importantly access to ethical investment opportunities to savers from all backgrounds,” Arif Al Alawi, CEO of Dubai Cultiv8, said.
The investment comes on the back of an aggressive growth strategy by Wahed Invest. The start-up recently secured license to operate in Saudi Arabia, launched an ETF, and is in the midst of launching its Malaysian operations.