Dubai Financial Services Authority Announces Seven New Firms Into Sandbox Cohort Process

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announced on Monday it has accepted seven new firms into its cohort process, which permits companies to apply for an Innovation Testing Licence (ITL).

According to DFSA, the ITL forms part of the DFSA’s commitment to support innovation and the development of financial technology by enabling successful applicants to test their FinTech solutions in and from the DIFC. With the pace of technological development in the financial services sector, fintech continues to have a significant impact on the financial services industry in the Middle East and beyond.

DFSA reported a great variety of applications was received from firms wanting to be part of this latest cohort, launched in November 2018. These applications encompassed a range of innovative, technology-driven solutions and products including green financing; the digitization of bond and sukuk issuances using smart contracts; SME funding platforms; robo-advisors for Islamic finance; and the tokenization of equities and debt issuances. Speaking about the new cohorts, Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, stated:

“I am particularly pleased by the mix of international and local candidates that have been successful and the wide range of technology solutions and products on offer, including Ethereum and Corda blockchains, artificial intelligence and algorithms and smart contracts development. The cohort also had strong representation from companies that aim to support wider Dubai and UAE objectives and government initiatives, including environmental efficiency, support for SMEs across the UAE, and the promotion of Islamic Finance. We shall continue to support the Dubai Government and the DIFC in the development of the Dubai FinTech ecosystem and consolidate Dubai’s role as the regional Fintech hub.”

DFSA added that after being accepted into the DFSA’s latest cohort, successful firms are now invited to apply for an ITL. The DFSA expects to grant the first batch of licenses in March 2019.

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