New York-headquartered Islamic robo-advisor Wahed has officially expanded into the UAE, having secured a financial services permission (FSP) from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).
“We consider the UAE our home. I grew up in the UAE and am very excited to bring our technology and investment efficiencies to the UAE’s flourishing business environment in Abu Dhabi, ADGM and beyond,” shared Wahed CEO Junaid Wahedna. “We are committed to contributing to an increase in the savings culture amongst the youth and professionals in a safe and Shariah compliant manner, in line with the cultural values of the UAE.”
The FSP comes just four months after the start-up hired Mohsin Siddiqui as chief operating officer to oversee its global operations as well as regional expansion.
Since its launch in the US in 2015, Wahed has expanded its geographical footprint to the UK, Malaysia, Bahrain, Kazakhstan and Mauritius, serving over 300,000 investors.
The robo-advisor intends to become a one-stop shop for Muslim-friendly financial services and has doubled down on both organic and inorganic expansion strategies to achieve its goal. Earlier this year, it acquired digital Islamic wills provider True Wills after acquiring crowdfunding platform Maydan Capital as well as Islamic digital banking start-up Niyah.
The start-up has raised over US$75 million from institutional investors including Dubai Cultiv8, Wa’ed Ventures as well as angel investors such as international footballer Paul Pogba and mixed martial art fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov.