Opportunities behind challenges of fintech in the Middle East [Podcast]

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Fintech is hot. Globally, investments in fintech have been rising since 2012, and while they might drop slightly in 2017, according to CB Insights, the amount invested so far this year is around $2.7 billion.

Omar Soudodi with Ahmed Moor. (Images via Payfort)

For the Middle East, things are getting a little warmer also. In the last 10 years, as we outlined in our recently published State of Fintech report published in partnership with Payfort, there has been $100 million raised for fintech startups.

Our research indicates that the number of startups launched and investments raised will more than double by 2020.

As part of publishing the report, Wamda Capital hosted a fintech panel to look at what’s going on in what is really a nascent sector for the Middle East.

Jon Richards with Ian Dillon. 

The panel was hosted in Wamda’s offices in Dubai, introduced by Fadi Ghandour, executive chairman of Wamda, moderated by Omar Soudodi, managing director at Payfort, and included Jon Richards, cofounder of Compareit4me.com, Ian Dillon, cofounder of Now Money, Ahmed Moor, cofounder and CEO of Liwwa, and Khaled Talhouni, managing partner at Wamda Capital.

They discussed everything from how they got started, their challenges with trust, from corporate partners down to customers, the problems with slow regulatory pick up in the region, and hiring talent.

The breakdown:

0.00  - Wamda executive chairman Fadi Ghandour, introduces the discussion with an overview of fintech in the Middle East.

3.45 - Omar Soudodi introduces the report and the panel.

7.00 - Panelists introduce themselves.

9.45 - Discussion over the main drivers behind fintech in the region.

12.13 - Each startup discusses the key drivers behind the growth of their companies.

23.13 - Khaled Talhouni talks about what they look for as investors in fintech.

27.21 - Soudodi outlines the four main barriers in the region for fintech startups.

28.24 - Panelists discuss the biggest challenges they face as fintech startups in the region.

37.00 - Talhouni talks about how regulation affects investments.

38.49 - Panelists talk about the hiring and talent pools for fintech in the region.

43.32 - Talhouni talks about the changing investment landscape of the region.

46.00 - Moussa Beidas of Bridg talks about what he hopes for in 2017.

Feature image via Payfort.

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