The Qatar FinTech Hub (QFTH), co-founded by Qatar Development Bank (QDB) and established to support the growth of the fintech industry in Qatar, has announced the final list of successful fintechs set to join Wave-1 of its incubator and accelerator programmes.
Both programmes are set to start on October 14 and will run until December 2020.
In April 2020, QFTH unveiled its Wave-1 rigorous 12-week programmes designed to cater to both local and global fintech entrepreneurs and startups looking for a launch pad from Qatar to the world, and to accelerate their growth at an international level.
During the last two months, QFTH received more than 750 applications from early stage and mature fintechs in Qatar and 72 other countries including the US, the UK, Australia, India, Singapore, Turkey, Nigeria, Germany, Russia, and Indonesia.
Following a thorough and multilevel evaluation process, the top 55 fintechs were invited to present their solutions via virtual pitch days. Shortlisted fintechs covered a variety of areas such as payment services, mobile payments, SME solutions, KYC solutions, B2B payments, and IOT-based payment and wallet, among others.
The virtual pitch days were judged by a panel of representatives from QFTH stakeholders and strategic partners: QDB, the Qatar Central Bank, the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), Ernst & Young, The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, Visa, MasterCard, Microsoft, Qatar Islamic Bank, Masraf Al Rayan, Dukhan Bank, Qatar International Islamic Bank, Doha Bank, and QNB.
The panel evaluations were based on solution strength and uniqueness, traction, team capabilities, and fitment and impact potential for Qatari market for each of the shortlisted Fintechs.
The 11 selected early stage fintechs for the incubator programme are C Wallet (Qatar), DaVinci Payments (Australia), Debito (Qatar), Fatora (Qatar), Musaada (Qatar), My Book (Qatar), Pay Ring (Russia), Remit Radar (UK), SkipCash (Qatar), Tess Payments (Qatar), and 7Sab (Qatar).
The 13 selected mature fintechs for the accelerator programme are Areeba (Qatar), FOMO Pay (Singapore), FOO (Lebanon), Madfooat (Jordan), Maya AI (Singapore), Manim Finance (Turkey), MyCash Money (Singapore), Nium (Singapore), Nuclei (India), Oscar Business Hub (Canada), Payface (Brazil), Sync Money (UK), and Upayments (Kuwait).
QDB CEO Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Khalifa, who is also QFTH chairman, said: “I would like to congratulate all the innovative entrepreneurs who will be joining the programmes, for their deserved success and in being part of one of the most promising initiatives in the region. This wave will pave the way for aspiring entrepreneurs who will be leading the next generation.
“QFTH’s leading programmes are another tribute to QDB’s strategy in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030, focused on promoting the growth of the private sector in key economic sectors, and with the aim of building a diversified and sustainable economy.”
He added: “The large number of quality applications from all over the world is a strong testament of the trust that QFTH has quickly gained with the Fintech community worldwide.
“The initiation of Wave-1 of QFTH’s incubator and accelerator programmes will certainly mark the beginning of a new stage of all participating Fintechs, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact of the programmes and the growth of the shortlisted Fintechs in Qatar and around the world.”
Each participating fintech will receive financial support, in addition to bespoke mentoring and training services provided by QFTH, its strategic partners, and mentors.
Upon the completion of the programmes, eligible participants will also be referred to the QCB’s Sandbox where they will receive support on licensing needs in Qatar, in addition to benefiting from a fee waiver on registration.
Licensing opportunities from the QFC, as well as the opportunity to collaborate with over 16 local financial institutions and regulators, and range of business development opportunities on the global scale will also be made available to the successful Fintechs.
As part of its commitment to offer world-class expertise to participating fintechs, QFTH has collaborated with local and international institutions, including financial institutions, technology and service providers, payment networks, academic institutions, regulators, in addition partnering with other fintech hubs from Singapore, UK, Turkey, Australia, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, and Sweden.
Due to Covid-19, Wave-1 of both the incubator and accelerator programmes will be conducted virtually. The programmes will culminate with a Demo Day in December, where representatives from each of the participating Fintechs will showcase their innovations to QFTH partners, industry influencers, and potential investors.
For more information about QFTH, one can visit www.fintech.qa