Wa’ed Ventures, the investment arm at Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Center (Wa’ed), is leading Islamic robo-advisor Wahed’s US$50 million Series B funding round, proceeds from which will support its ambition of launching an ethical neobank “in the near future”.
Founded in 2015, New York-based Wahed was one of the first fintech start-ups to offer Shariah compliant digital investment management services. Since then, it has raised a total of US$40 million over four funding rounds, according to Crunchbase. It counts the likes of Wa’ed, Cue Ball, Dubai Cultiv8, Rasameel and Beco Capital as investors.
Having built a client base of over 300,000 across nine jurisdictions including Malaysia, the UK and Bahrain, the robo-advisor intends to offer a wider range of Shariah compliant digital financial services, including banking, through a single super-app. Proceeds from the funding round will support that ambition as well as facilitate its MENA expansion.
To usher in the start-up’s next phase of growth, Wahed has appointed Haroon Mokhtarzada, the founder of unicorn fintech firm Truebill, William Haney, the chairman of regulatory compliance firm Enhesa and former Securities and Exchange commission director, Lori Richards to its board of directors.
The latest funding round has secured investors including football star Paul Pogba and family offices, Wahed said. Pogba, who also plays for Manchester United Football Club, recently joined the start-up as its brand ambassador. HSBC is acting as the lead financial advisor to this transaction.