Dubai fintech baraka raises $20 million from Valar and Knollwood.
Dubai-based fintech business Baraka announced a $20 million investment round headed by New York-based Valar Ventures and supported by billionaire venture investor Peter Thiel on Wednesday.
Baraka stated in a statement that investment company Knollwood also participated in the Series A financing and that it was Valar Ventures’ first investment in the Middle East.
Baraka, which offers “commission-free” trading in US equities and ETFs, announced plans to “double down on its footprint throughout the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) and Egypt and increase client acquisition.”
“We will continue to draw global fintech talent to the area while recruiting locally for important jobs across departments,” the business stated, adding that it “will also investigate new markets for development in MENA (the Middle East and North Africa).”
“The region’s burgeoning fintech ecosystem has enormous potential, and we’re impressed by the early indications of traction that Baraka has shown,” said Andrew McCormack, general partner at Valar Ventures.
Baraka is supported by Y Combinator, a major incubator, and startup fund in Silicon Valley, and is also a component of Abu Dhabi’s state-backed innovation ecosystem, Hub 71. Venture capital companies such as Class 5 Global, Global Founders Capital, and Venture Souq are among its investors.
The business said that it was collaborating with regional stock markets, such as Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul, to enable local trading via its app. The Gulf has seen a surge in IPOs (initial public offerings) that has defied global market patterns.
“In only one year since our inception, tens of thousands of people have joined up to baraka,” stated Feras Jalbout, Chief Executive Officer and Founder.