UAE-based fintech baraka is launching its commission-free mobile trading platform following a $1 million pre-Seed funding round led by Class 5 Global, with participation from FJ Labs, IMO Ventures, The Community Fund, VentureSouq and private investment from Abdulla Elyas, co-founder of Careem.
The app, which will be available to download in the second quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory approval, will provide access to more than 4000 US listed securities, including stocks, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and fractional shares. Users will gain free access to the mobile trading app, as well as the option of a paid tier offering stock analysis, with no minimum investment requirements.
“The retail investor revolution is no longer on the horizon – it’s already begun,” said Feras Jalbout, founder and CEO of baraka. “Young investors in the Middle East are becoming more conscious about the companies and causes they want to support. Whether it’s backing organisations that prioritise diversity and inclusion, seeking sustainable investment options, or just helping their favourite brands to grow, millennials want a say in where their money is going.”
baraka according to Jalbout enables them to invest in these options “while addressing their two biggest challenges – limited access to US listed stocks, and a lack of understanding around how they work”.
The startup launched a newsletter last year as part of its educational offering and plans to include an in-app messenger to test user knowledge through gamified investment quizzes.
“Mena has one of the youngest populations and highest rates of smartphone penetration and engagement in the world,” said Joel Ayala, co-founder and managing partner of Class 5 Global. “We are seeing retail and consumer investing behaviours change dramatically globally and believe baraka is best positioned to take advantage of these tailwinds in the region.”