The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) domiciled Vesuvio Labs Doha, a venture builder, has embarked on a multi-pronged strategy to enhance Doha's international appeal in attracting fintechs as it finds the country has immense potential, especially for B2B fintechs.
The UK-headquartered entity is setting up two joint ventures here and also trying to bring in two portfolio companies that it nurtured in London to establish their base in Qatar as part of expansion into the wider Gulf and Middle East regions, Pedro Caetano, head of Ecosystem, Vesuvio Labs, Doha, told Gulf Times.
In this regard, Vesuvio Labs, whose core areas are financial services and remittances, has approached Invest Qatar and Qatar Insurance Company's Digital Venture Partners.
"We are finalising two joint ventures. Our model here is more towards joint ventures," he said, confirming that it is in talks with the Qatar Development Bank (QDB) for becoming a complementary co-founder.
"We are pre-seeds with a ceiling of $100,000 to $150,000," he said "Qatar is the right place to launch, test and expand" and it is the reason why it chose the country as its regional headquarter for the Middle East.
Asked by when the joint ventures would be established, he said "by February, we will be able to finalise those."
One of the joint ventures would be a fintech "as the area, where we think there is room for growth in Qatar, is on B2B or business-to-business fintechs", according to Caetano.
Highlighting the potential for B2B fintechs in Qatar; he said the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) could greatly benefit as fintechs could help not only with financial services but also the technology could fine tune the processes in their entire supply chain.
Stressing that it involves working with banks and identity verification entities; he said Vesuvio Labs Doha is already in talks with those entities that were part of the QDB accelerator programme.
Another joint venture would be with an already existing fintech for the latter's research and development lab, he said, without disclosing the name.
On plans to bring its already nurtured entities in the UK to Doha; he said "we are bringing two portfolio companies to Qatar and we did an application to Invest Qatar to help us on that."
The application includes not only hosting its portfolio entities but also for the future companies it is about to set up as joint ventures.
At present, Vesuvio Labs has 10 portfolio companies in the UK with some of them already becoming matured into multimillion pound entities, especially Distribind, a digital data exchange delivering automated back office processing that can help all participants across the value chain in the insurance sector.
"We submitted multiple portfolio companies to Qatar insurance digital ventures challenge undergoing," he said.
QIC DVP works with breakthrough insurtech companies that are redefining the insurance ecosystem through digital innovation.
"The QIC DVP can help establish niche businesses (such as Distribind) in Qatar," according Caetano.
Pedro Caetano, head of Ecosystem, Vesuvio Labs.