Islamic robo-advisor Wahed has inaugurated its first-ever physical branch in Central London, a strong signal of its commitment to the UK market as it seeks to deepen its European presence.
Launched on the 24th January in the attendance of its brand ambassador Russian former professional mixed martial artist Khabib Nurmagomedov, the Baker Street retail space is Wahed’s attempt to court Muslims who are more reserved about investing online.
The Islamic fintech company also debuted a gold-backed debt card allowing users to make payments with funds deposited with an exchange-traded commodity tracking the price of gold. Users will also be able to redeem the gold in their accounts for physical bars. This follows Wahed launching a gold portfolio last July, which enables investors in the UK to invest in physical gold stored at the Royal Mint.
Backed by investors such as Saudi Aramco’s venture capital arm and French football star Paul Pogba, Wahed has raised US$75 million in total funding since its launch in 2017 in New York. It counts the likes of Wa’ed, Cue Ball, Dubai Cultiv8, Rasameel and Beco Capital as investors.
Over the last six years, the start-up has expanded its operations to eight other jurisdictions including Malaysia, the UK and Bahrain, and has been on a journey toward becoming an ethical neobank.
It launched a global equity crowdfunding platform last September and acquired Islamic digital bank start-up Niyah in December 2020.