SAMA and CMA 12 Fintech startups as part of Fintech accelerator program

Under the patronage of the Governor of the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA), Dr. Fahad Almubarak and the Chairman of the Capital Market Authority (CMA), Mr. Mohammed ElKuwaiz,  Fintech Saudi organized the closing ceremony of the second cohort of the Fintech Accelerator on Tuesday 26/07/2022.

The 12 fintech companies from the Fintech Accelerator Program presented their innovative solutions, culminating months of hard work, which contributed to develop their product strategies and business models, acquire expertise and knowledge by international and local experts.

Dr. Fahad Almubarak delivered the opening speech, while Mr. Mohammed Elkuwaiz welcomed the visitors and reaffirmed the support of SAMA and CMA for financial technology sector entrepreneurs.

On his side, SAMA’s governor stated that: “Start-up Fintech companies’ role extends beyond providing innovative financial services to include supporting the broader scope of economy. We seek at SAMA, in cooperation with the CMA and our partners in the government and private sectors, to develop the Fintech sector under the ambitious national strategy issued by the Crown Prince, Chairman of the Supreme Committee for Research, Development and Innovation, and under the Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP)–one of the Saudi Vision 2030 programs. Such efforts are made to fulfill the leadership’s aspirations for the Kingdom to be a world-class financial hub.”

“This year, the Saudi fintech industry has witnessed the largest number of venture capital investment deals. This is in line with the Saudi Vision 2030 that aims for the Kingdom to develop a leading financial sector that keeps pace with the rapid technological revolution. By building regulatory frameworks that attract innovative business models and using emerging technologies that have the potential to advance the provision of financial products and services, we can take the financial services industry to new heights, stimulate investment, promote economic development and empower entrepreneurs.” said Mr. Alkuwaiz

Nezar Al Haidar, the Acting Director of Fintech Saudi, noted that because of the Saudi Central Bank and the Capital Market Authority’s unrestricted support, the Kingdom has emerged as a hub for innovation and growth in the fintech industry.

He stressed that the program succeeded in supporting entrepreneurs to progress the development of their innovative fintech solutions, faster than they would have been able to otherwise, stating that the second cohort, which consists of 12 fintech companies, is an expansion of the achievements of the first Fintech Accelerator Program (2021).

During the ceremony, Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Center (Wa’ed), a supporting partner of the Fintech Accelerator Program, offered the three winning fintech startups a financial grant of SAR 50,000 each, along with an opportunity to  enroll in the business Incubation program presented by Wa’ed, to guide the companies as they look to raise venture investment while growing their businesses. It is worth mentioning that Wa’ed was founded to accelerate the growth of leading companies in the Kingdom by investing in high-growth sectors such as fintech, as a way to support the advancement of the local entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Eng. Fahad Alidi, the Managing Director at Wa’ed, said the partnership with “Fintech Saudi” is an extension of Wa’ed’s strategy to diversify its support for local and international startups in addition to funding their growth , stating the essential role played by regulators in promoting more private investments in the fintech industry.

The Fintech Accelerator Program Demo Day included an exhibition area for fintech companies that participated in the first and second cohort of the program. In the exhibition area, 21 fintech companies showcased their innovative products and solutions to investors, banks, potential partners, other key stakeholders in the entrepreneurship ecosystem, and members of the fintech community. The companies that took part displayed amazing growth and advancement in the development of cutting-edge fintech products that directly address social demands and provide solutions to pressing issues.

Fintech Saudi is an initiative that was started by the Saudi Central Bank in April 2018 in collaboration with the Capital Market Authority. Its goals are to transform the Kingdom into a hub for financial technology innovation, build a prosperous and responsible ecosystem, and support entrepreneurs by fostering the growth of the infrastructure necessary for the industry’s evolution.