News

Dubai-backed fintech reaches unicorn status

Swiss fintech Numbrs, which is backed by the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), has been valued at $1 billion, making it the latest unicorn in the global fintech world. Numbrs is a mobile app for personal financial planning, helping users manage their bank accounts and credit cards and perform basic mobile banking functions. The startup recently raised $40 million to bring its total funding to $200 million and bringing its valuation past the $1 billion mark. The ICD is one of Numbrs more exceptional backers, making its first investment in 2017. The startup has deliberately focused on private investors, as opposed to venture capital firms and private equity or sovereign wealth funds.   “Venture capital and private equity funds tend to have less patience,” said Numbrs chief executive Martin Saidler. “They get nervous when it takes longer for a startup to earn money.” Numbrs, which launched in 2014, is not yet profitable but hopes to break even in two years, said Saidler. ©2019 funds global mena

Sponsored Profiles

There’s no doubt that Africa has been seen increasingly as an attractive prospect for inbound investment in recent years, with investors seeing real potential in the continent, particularly in the private equity, infrastructure and real estate asset classes, as it experiences strong economic growth.

Plausible explanations exist for why low-volatility stocks perform better than their high-volatility counterparts.

Aberdeen Asset Management has set up its first Middle East office in the newly established Abu Dhabi Global Market. Andrew Paul, senior executive officer, explains why.

A recent sovereign bond issue from Saudi Arabia underlines the appeal of emerging market investing. What must investors consider when allocating to this asset class? Firas Mallah of BMO Global Asset Management shares his views.

Executive Interviews

INTERVIEW: ‘Financing is the blood of Iran’s economy’

Amid a fresh wave of American sanctions, Romil Patel spoke to Meysam Hamedi, director of financial markets and instruments at Iran’s Securities & Exchange Organization (SEO).

INTERVIEW: Totally mega

In 2016, global consulting firm PWC forecast the emergence of five global ‘megatrends’ in the next two decades. Stephen Anderson, its Middle East clients and markets leader, talks about their...

INTERVIEW: Protecting the investment

Rasmala’s trade finance fund recently passed $100 million in assets. Doug Bitcon, head of credit strategies, explains why he has to be hands-on.

EXECUTIVE INTERVIEW: A natural interest in the topic

Since 2016, Guillermo Ortiz has been a chairman of Latin America’s BTG Pactual. The former central banker of Mexico talks to Nick Fitzpatrick.

Roundtables

South Africa asset management roundtable: Global rebound on ice

Experts discuss the investment implications of the coronavirus pandemic, a delayed rebound in global growth and dealing with South Africa’s energy issues head on. Chaired by Romil Patel in Cape Town.

South African roundtable: Taking the bull by the horns

Our panel discusses Chinese investment in Africa, financial institutions’ contribution to economic sustainability and regulatory concerns. Chaired by Romil Patel in Cape Town.

ROUNDTABLE: Hooked to the global caravan

With the MENA region at a tipping point, our panellists talk about economic diversification, the impact of regulation and the delayed Saudi Aramco listing. Chaired by Romil Patel in Dubai.

MENA ROUNDTABLE: ‘The story is about reforms’

Our cross-industry panel discuss the positive backdrop in Egypt, the Dana Gas controversy and the potential index upgrades of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Chaired by George Mitton in Dubai.