Wahed has officially launched its global equity funding platform, another step in the Islamic robo-advisor’s journey toward establishing itself as a full-service Islamic fintech company.
The platform, WahedX, is the reiteration of Maydan Capital, which launched in 2021 and became a subsidiary of Wahed. WahedX aims to connect retail, accredited and sophisticated investors directly to vetted equity offerings in early-stage and growth digital businesses.
The rebranding of Maydan Capital is driven by “the need to more closely represent our alignment with Wahed and showcase our combined commitment to providing investors with quality investment opportunities across multiple asset classes,” the firm explained.
WahedX continues to be led by CEO Safdar Alam, a veteran Islamic banker who was previously attached to the likes of JPMorgan and UBS in a Shariah banking capacity. Safdar also sits on Wahed’s UK advisory board.
The official launch of WahedX underscores the New York-headquartered fintech company’s ambition to expand beyond its Halal digital investment management mandate. At the end of 2020, Wahed confirmed it was acquiring a UK-based Islamic banking start-up, Niyah, which counts Safdar as a co-founder, as part of its plan to offer Shariah compliant banking products including digital bank accounts and debit cards starting with the UK before expanding into other markets including North America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
Founded in 2015, Wahed was one of the earliest to offer Islamic robo-advisory services. Starting from the US, it went to secure regulatory licenses in nine jurisdictions including Malaysia, the UK and Bahrain, and has built a client base of over 300,000.
Over the years, the start-up, led by CEO and Founder Junaid Wahedna, courted a number of investors — Islamic and conventional — including Wa’ed Ventures, the venture capital arm of Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Center, Cue Ball, Dubai Cultiv8, Rasameel and Beco Capital. Its latest US$50 million Series B funding round, which brought its total funding to US$90 million, also included investors such as international footballer Paul Pogba who joined Wahed as its latest brand ambassador.