FinTech Hive at DIFC, a fintech accelerator that was established by the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), announced on Wednesday that more than 300 applications were submitted for the program’s 2018 edition. The accelerator began accepting application in May.
As previously reported, FinTech Hive was launched last year by the DIFC in partnership with leading global professional services company Accenture (NYSE: ACN). The accelerator recently reported that new insurance partners of the 2018 program include AIG, Takaful Emarat and Zurich Insurance Company Ltd., who will join new financial institution partners First Abu Dhabi Bank, Arab Bank, and Noor Bank, along with returning partners Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Citi, Emirates Islamic, Emirates NBD, HSBC, Mashreq, Standard Chartered, UAE Exchange and Visa. The participating financial institutions and insurance companies will ideate, collaborate and partner with startups in a 12-week mentorship and networking program.
FinTech Hive revealed that of all 2018 edition applications received, 50% were for fintech solutions, while the remaining 50% were divided amongst insurtech (20%), Islamic fintech (15%) and regtech (15%). The applications also covered a wide range of technical and functional solutions including Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning, Blockchain, Crowdfunding, Lending & Payments, Trading & Investment as well as Financial Advisory.
“The diversity of geographies represented in the application process is the result of DIFC’s collaboration with its network of strategic partners across international FinTech hubs, such as New York, London and Hong Kong. The Centre’s ongoing focus is on attracting UAE-based and home-grown companies to leverage the FinTech ecosystem it offers to develop their businesses. Over 25% of the applications received by the programme were from UAE-based applicants. The programme also attracted considerable interest from the UK, India, USA, and Nigeria.”
Speaking about the application process’ overwhelming response, Raja Al Mazrouei, Executive Vice President of FinTech Hive at DIFC, stated:
“FinTech Hive at DIFC is a great platform for ambitious startups who are looking for growth opportunities. The overwhelming number of applications we received, together with the diversity of their countries of origin, is not only testament to the success of the programme, but also to the increasing demand for disruptive technologies in the region and beyond. Through tripling our commitment to include new thematic programmes, FinTech Hive at DIFC continues to bridge the gap between creative entrepreneurs and well-established financial institutions looking for innovative solutions to their everyday challenges.”
Al Mazrouei then added:
“All of the programmes and efforts we are leading at DIFC are closely aligned with the UAE National Innovation Strategy, as well as governmental agendas such as Dubai Plan 2021 and UAE Vision 2021, which look to progress the growth and development of the country. These efforts feed into the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and the exceptional model that the Emirate represents globally. Building on Dubai’s position as one of the world’s top 10 fintech hubs, we remain focused on expanding our efforts to support the rise of smart, creative solutions in the region.”