The Qatar Fintech Hub (QFTH), co-founded by Qatar Development Bank (QDB), has received applications from more than 500 early and mature fintechs across the globe to join Wave 2 of its Incubator and Accelerator Programmes.
"This marks the beginning of their journey towards reshaping the future of financial technology in Qatar and beyond, and we are confident they will help us in building solid pillars for a knowledge-based economy in Qatar,” said Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Khalifa, chief executive of QDB and Fintech task force chairman.
As many as 22 fintechs were selected (11 each) for both the programmes started on March 24 and will run until June 2021. The applicants were from 58 countries as USA, India, Singapore, Nigeria, Russia, Hong Kong, UK, Turkey, and Qatar.
The applications went through a rigorous and multilevel evaluation process, where over 40 fintechs were shortlisted to present their solutions via virtual pitch days judged by a panel of representatives from QFTH stakeholders and strategic partners.
Out of the 40 fintechs, the top 22 were selected and invited to participate in the Incubator and Accelerator Programmes. Selected fintechs covered a variety of technology solutions such as AI (artificial intelligence), ML (machine language), blockchain, RPA (robotic process automation), NFC (near field communication), NLP (natural language processing), OCR (optical character recognition) and other fintech solutions.
The 11 early stage fintechs were selected to join Wave 2 of the Incubator programme including Snoonu Trading and Services as well as Karty from Qatar, Cammillion from Singapore, ePaysa from India, Digitalistic from Bangladesh, Akillifon from Turkey, CHANGE COM from Jordan, Kwidex from Ghana, Nu Credits as well as Bondsmart and Finstant from the UK.
The 11 mature fintechs selected for Wave 2 of the Accelerator programme are Prive T from Hong Kong, Active.AI as well as Finchat from Singapore, eBaoTech from China, SafexPay from India, Twyla Technology from Qatar, FinChatBot from South Africa, Cargon from Georgia, Invest Suite from Belgium, Elite Capital, and Revix from the UK.
For a period of 12 weeks, Wave 2 will offer participating fintechs a unique incubation and acceleration journey with all the essential support required to establish their businesses locally and to grow regionally and internationally.
Each participating fintech will receive financial and in-kind support of up to $250,000, in addition to bespoke mentoring and training services provided by QFTH, its strategic partners and mentor network of over 36 international and local mentors.
Due to the Covid-19 precautions and restrictions, Wave 2 of both the Incubator and Accelerator Programmes will be conducted virtually. It will culminate with a Demo Day in June, where representatives from each of the participating fintechs will showcase their innovations to QFTH partners, industry influencers and potential investors.
Upon the completion of the programmes, eligible fintechs will be referred to the Qatar Central Bank’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 Qatar Financial Center as well as the opportunity to collaborate with over 16 local financial institutions and regulators, and a range of business development and investment opportunities on a global scale will also be available to participating fintechs.
The QFTH programmes "continue to attract entrepreneurs from around the world, establishing Qatar as a preferred destination for Fintechs looking to establish a base in the region," al-Khalifa said.
As part of its commitment to offer world-class expertise to participating fintechs, QFTH has collaborated with local and international entities including financial institutions, technology and service providers, payment networks, academic institutions, regulators, in addition, partnering with other fintech hubs from Singapore, UK, Turkey, Australia, Nigeria and Sweden.
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