DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, 31 JAN 2017. Ian Dillon and Katharine Budd, founders of NOW Money, a startup based in the UAE, that provides a safe, immediate and cost effective remittance solution, delivered via a smartphone app, to people who are excluded from the traditional banking system. Photo: Reem Mohammed / The National (Reporter: Gillian Duncan / Section: BZ LIFE) ID 49883 *** Local Caption ***  RM_20170131_BZLIFE_TRADE_007.JPG
Ian Dillon and Katharine Budd are the founders of Now Money, a startup based in the UAE, that provides a cost-effective remittance solution, delivered via a smartphone app, to those excluded from the Show more

UAE-based fintech start-up Now Money secures $700,000 US investment



Now Money, a fintech start-up servicing the UAE's low-income migrant population, has secured US$700,000 of seed-funding from two US-based venture capital investors.

The Dubai-based payment services provider, which uses banking technology to provide accounts and remittance options for those that do not have access to traditional bank accounts, gained the investment from Accion Venture Lab and Newid Capital. Both funds make investments that target the financially underserved.

Now Money was founded in September 2015, and has since grown its user base to over 4,000. 

"We're incredibly pleased to have secured funding from the US," said Katharine Budd, the company's co-founder.

"Financial exclusion is a global problem, and we can't wait to work alongside Accion Venture Lab and Newid Capital, who work tirelessly to eradicate the issue."

_______________

Read more:

_______________

According to Ian Dillon, the cofounder of Now Money, it is the first early stage investment from US venture capital firms into the Middle East. 

"We hope this will be the first of many US venture capital investments in the region, and will help to grow the ecosystem further," said Mr Dillon. The main reason for the lack of US investmentis the difficulty in understanding a different market, he added.

"We've spent almost two years building relationships with the investors and showing them what we're doing ...  We've got to know each other really well and have built up trust in the industry and region," he said.

This latest investment comes a year after Now Money secured its initial seed funding of $500,000 from a private investor, which financed the team's expansion and the development of the brand and its technology. The company was launched by Mr Dillon and Ms Budd with $200,000 of their own money.

Mr Dillon said the company plans to use the latest round of funding to expand its offering across the UAE and wider GCC.

Michael Schlein, the chief executive and president of Accion, whose Venture Lab invests and supports innovative start-ups that increase access to financial services to those traditionally excluded, said: "Each year, migrant workers contribute more than $400 billion to their home economies, and the UAE is among the top remittance-sending countries in the world. Now Money's innovative approach and digital platform provide a faster and safer option for these workers to support their families and communities."

Amee Parbhoo, director of investments at Accion Venture Lab, said the investment is the company's first into the Middle East region and its first into "a wholly digital neobank".

Now Money's funding announcement comes alongside initiatives in Dubai and Abu Dhabi to develop fintech ecosystems as a means of attracting start-ups in the space. On Monday the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) started its inaugural accelerator programme with 11 fintech start-ups from around the world, including two from the UAE. The programme, developed in partnership with Accenture, was officially launched earlier this year.

According to Accenture, the global fintech sector has attracted more than $50bn in investment since 2010, while the Middle East and North Africa region has received around 1 per cent of this number – a figure the DIFC accelerator hopes to increase.

Abu Dhabi Global Market meanwhile last year launched its RegLab programme, providing a "sandbox" environment enabling fintech start-ups to develop business ideas under a light regulatory touch, with advice from financial institutions and others. The programme selected its first five participants in May. 

______________

Read more:

______________

The number of fintech ecosystems in the Middle East and North Africa rose to 105 in 2015 from just 46 in 2013, according to research from Payfort and Wamda published in March.

Bridgerton season three - part one

Directors: Various

Starring: Nicola Coughlan, Luke Newton, Jonathan Bailey

Rating: 3/5

Karwaan

Producer: Ronnie Screwvala

Director: Akarsh Khurana

Starring: Irrfan Khan, Dulquer Salmaan, Mithila Palkar

Rating: 4/5

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

Champion v Champion (PFL v Bellator)

Heavyweight: Renan Ferreira v Ryan Bader
Middleweight: Impa Kasanganay v Johnny Eblen
Featherweight: Jesus Pinedo v Patricio Pitbull
Catchweight: Ray Cooper III v Jason Jackson

Showcase Bouts
Heavyweight: Bruno Cappelozza (former PFL World champ) v Vadim Nemkov (former Bellator champ)
Light Heavyweight: Thiago Santos (PFL title contender) v Yoel Romero (Bellator title contender)
Lightweight: Clay Collard (PFL title contender) v AJ McKee (former Bellator champ)
Featherweight: Gabriel Braga (PFL title contender) v Aaron Pico (Bellator title contender)
Lightweight: Biaggio Ali Walsh (pro debut) v Emmanuel Palacios (pro debut)
Women’s Lightweight: Claressa Shields v Kelsey DeSantis
Featherweight: Abdullah Al Qahtani v Edukondal Rao
Amateur Flyweight: Malik Basahel v Vinicius Pereira

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

In-demand jobs and monthly salaries
  • Technology expert in robotics and automation: Dh20,000 to Dh40,000 
  • Energy engineer: Dh25,000 to Dh30,000 
  • Production engineer: Dh30,000 to Dh40,000 
  • Data-driven supply chain management professional: Dh30,000 to Dh50,000 
  • HR leader: Dh40,000 to Dh60,000 
  • Engineering leader: Dh30,000 to Dh55,000 
  • Project manager: Dh55,000 to Dh65,000 
  • Senior reservoir engineer: Dh40,000 to Dh55,000 
  • Senior drilling engineer: Dh38,000 to Dh46,000 
  • Senior process engineer: Dh28,000 to Dh38,000 
  • Senior maintenance engineer: Dh22,000 to Dh34,000 
  • Field engineer: Dh6,500 to Dh7,500
  • Field supervisor: Dh9,000 to Dh12,000
  • Field operator: Dh5,000 to Dh7,000
Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

Results

Stage 7:

1. Caleb Ewan (AUS) Lotto Soudal - 3:18:29

2. Sam Bennett (IRL) Deceuninck-QuickStep - same time

3. Phil Bauhaus (GER) Bahrain Victorious

4. Michael Morkov (DEN) Deceuninck-QuickStep

5. Cees Bol (NED) Team DSM

General Classification:

1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates - 24:00:28

2. Adam Yates (GBR) Ineos Grenadiers - 0:00:35

3. Joao Almeida (POR) Deceuninck-QuickStep - 0:01:02

4. Chris Harper (AUS) Jumbo-Visma - 0:01:42

5. Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Nippo - 0:01:45

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Ejari
Based: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Founders: Yazeed Al Shamsi, Fahad Albedah, Mohammed Alkhelewy and Khalid Almunif
Sector: PropTech
Total funding: $1 million
Investors: Sanabil 500 Mena, Hambro Perks' Oryx Fund and angel investors
Number of employees: 8

The specs

Powertrain: Single electric motor
Power: 201hp
Torque: 310Nm
Transmission: Single-speed auto
Battery: 53kWh lithium-ion battery pack (GS base model); 70kWh battery pack (GF)
Touring range: 350km (GS); 480km (GF)
Price: From Dh129,900 (GS); Dh149,000 (GF)
On sale: Now

INDIA'S TOP INFLUENCERS

Bhuvan Bam
Instagram followers: 16.1 million
Bhuvan Bam is a 29-year-old comedian and actor from Delhi, who started out with YouTube channel, “BB Ki Vines” in 2015, which propelled the social media star into the limelight and made him sought-after among brands.
Kusha Kapila
Instagram followers: 3.1 million
Kusha Kapila is a fashion editor and actress, who has collaborated with brands including Google. She focuses on sharing light-hearted content and insights into her life as a rising celebrity.
Diipa Khosla
Instagram followers: 1.8 million
Diipa Khosla started out as a social media manager before branching out to become one of India's biggest fashion influencers, with collaborations including MAC Cosmetics.
Komal Pandey
Instagram followers: 1.8 million
Komal Pandey is a fashion influencer who has partnered with more than 100 brands, including Olay and smartphone brand Vivo India.
Nikhil Sharma
Instagram followers: 1.4 million
Nikhil Sharma from Mumbai began his online career through vlogs about his motorcycle trips. He has become a lifestyle influencer and has created his own clothing line.
Source: Hireinfluence, various

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian
Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).
Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming
Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics
Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian
Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).


Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).


Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming
Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics
Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

Stage results

1. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) Deceuninck-QuickStep  4:39:05

2. Michael Matthews (AUS) Team BikeExchange 0:00:08

3. Primoz Roglic (SLV) Jumbo-Visma same time 

4. Jack Haig (AUS) Bahrain Victorious s.t  

5. Wilco Kelderman (NED) Bora-Hansgrohe s.t  

6. Tadej Pogacar (SLV) UAE Team Emirates s.t 

7. David Gaudu (FRA) Groupama-FDJ s.t

8. Sergio Higuita Garcia (COL) EF Education-Nippo s.t     

9. Bauke Mollema (NED) Trek-Segafredo  s.t

10. Geraint Thomas (GBR) Ineos Grenadiers s.t


Latest
Most Read
Top Videos

On The Money

Make money work for you with news, features and expert analysis

      By signing up, I agree to The National's privacy policy
      On The Money