The Qatar FinTech Hub (QFTH), a subsidiary of Qatar Development Bank (QDB), has launched the fifth cohort of its incubation and acceleration programme as part of efforts to support fintech startups in their entrepreneurial journey.
Through its previous cohorts, QFTH has played a vital role in the growth of the fintech sector in Qatar and has contributed to the development of a group of local companies and graduating over 50 entrepreneurs from its programmes, along with significant private sector investments since its inception in 2020.
For the fifth cohort, QFTH received 290 applications, out of which 21 applications were accepted from local and international startups in the fields of payment technology in partnership with Visa, insurance technology with Qatar Insurance Group, ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ technology with Mastercard, and collective debt-based crowdfunding with QDB.
These companies will begin a 12-week journey of incubation and acceleration, during which they will have the opportunity to develop and grow their businesses with the necessary local support, in addition to receiving support worth $70,000 for each startup.
Qualified companies in the fifth cohort will also receive a range of specialised guidance and training services provided by QFTH and its strategic partners, including local and international mentors, along with initial investments ranging from $40,000-100,000 from QDB.
Emphasising the importance of supporting Qatar’s fintech industry, QDB CEO Abdulrahman Hesham al-Suwaidi said: “With each new cohort of startups, we offer innovative solutions and opportunities for collaboration with the private sector, aiming to enhance Qatar’s vital role as an effective fintech hub in the region.
“Over the next three months, we will be developing and localising approximately 21 startups across four different sectors with the aim of incubating and accelerating their businesses and investing around QR7mn.”
Al-Suwaidi said: “The selection of these companies was based on regulatory criteria and licensing mechanisms of the Qatar Central Bank with the aim of providing value-added services to the payments, insurance, and collective debt-based crowdfunding sectors, in direct coordination with the Financial Technology and Innovation Management team at QCB, along with Visa, Mastercard, Qatar Insurance, Microsoft, and Qatar FinTech Hub.”
QFTH continues its journey in supporting entrepreneurs and sharing global experiences and expertise with them. It continuously collaborates with key stakeholders in the field, including financial institutions, technology service providers, payment solution networks, academic institutions, and regulatory bodies.
QFTH is also forming new partnerships with fintech centres. Recently, QFTH oversaw the signing of a new partnership agreement between Visa and Pay2M, a QFTH graduate and a QCB-licensed payment service provider. Additionally, a memorandum of understanding was signed with Indian firm, ACKO, making it a key client in the insurance technology sector.
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