UAE financial comparison website yallacompare raised $8 million in its latest funding round, the company said on Monday.
The lead investors are STC Ventures, managed by Iris Capital, and Dubai venture capital firm Wamda Capital, while FinTech-focused investor, Argo Ventures, the early stage investment arm of global insurance carrier Agro Group, is a new “significant investor”, yallacompare said.
Jon Richards, chief executive of yallacompare, said the company was "delighted" with the latest funding round.
“Of all the potential regional player candidates, Argo Ventures selected us as the clear leader in the market," he said.
The company, which launched in 2016, is among a crop of comparison platforms in the UAE that help residents decide which financial products are most suited to their needs.
Insurance technology firm, Aqeed.com, launched in the UAE last May after securing $18m in series A funding from its corporate shareholders, while established player Souqalmal.com, raised $10m in Series B funding from leading UK firm GoCompare In October 2017.
Yallacompare, which employs over 120 people and serves nine markets, said the funds will be used to grow the workforce by up to 50 per cent as the company looks to bring insurance aggregation to additional regional locations.
Philip Bahoshy, chief executive and founder of Magnitt, said this is yallacompare's fifth funding round, amounting to a total of $17.2m of disclosed funding.
"The FinTech industry proved to be the hottest industry in 2018 across the MENA region," said Mr Bahoshy. "This investment shows the continued trend and interest in the financial services space. It also marks another example of a maturing startup receiving further later stage funding as they look to scale up across the region."
Yallacompare has a built a dominant position in digital insurance sales in the UAE, accounting for more than 75 per cent of online insurance transactions.
The platform recently partnered with Dubai Government’s Smart Dubai initiative to bring insurance aggregation to the Dubai Now app; yallacompare expects to issue more than $50m of policies in 2019, it said.
Mr Bahoshy said the firm's latest funding round was particularly interesting as it has seen follow on funding from existing investors, while also bringing on new investment to help inject growth.
Oleg Ilichev, head of Argo Ventures - the new investor - said its mission is to "discover and empower entrepreneurs who are reinventing financial services".
“We believe that yallacompare’s goal of educating and simplifying the purchase of financial products aligns nicely with our beliefs,” he added.
Angus Paterson, partner at existing investor Iris Capital, said the company was pleased to continue supporting the "fast-growing insurance business", while Khaled Talhouni, managing partner at Wamda Capital - another existing investor - said the investment from Argo Ventures, "validates our belief that yallacompare is transforming and disrupting the insurance market in our region".