Tuesday, February 7, 2023

FinTech Startups: Potential and Opportunities in Qatar

FinTech Startups have firmly established their foothold in Qatar now. They got a huge boost when the Qatar FinTech Hub (QFTH) was instituted by Qatar Development Bank (QDB) in May 2018. The program is supported by the Qatar Central Bank.

An important ingredient of Qatar’s National Vision 2030, FinTech is critical to the economic diversification in the country. A top official of the QDB’s Advisory and Incubation division said that they aim to collaborate with payment-based businesses to give a fillip to small and medium enterprises to fuel the country’s economic growth.

Qatar FinTech Hub

Established by the QDB in conjunction with the Qatar Central bank, the primary objective of the QFTH is to promote the growth of the FinTech sector in the country. It strives to bring together all stakeholders, including entrepreneurs, industry experts, investors, and regulatory authorities, to give impetus to developing innovative and disruptive technologies in the FinTech domain. In the first quarter of 2021, QFTH has emerged as the second-ranked FinTech Investor across the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region.

The objective is to encourage and support innovation and implementation of creative ideas, to turn visions into reality. The endeavor is to give wings to the creative and enterprising people so that innovative ideas are developed into practical and viable solutions in the Financial Technology sector, which can then be put to commercial use.

It doesn’t matter whether you are physically a part of the QFTH programs or access it online; you are assured of getting all the support you need to transform your business ideas into reality. In addition, through the Capital Investment Fund, you get the financial stimulus you need to realize your potential.

QDB in association with Ernst & Young has developed certain programs to help budding entrepreneurs realize their dreams. These programs meant for both local and international FinTech firms are:

  • Incubator Program: It’s a 12-weeks program for aspiring entrepreneurs and newly launched FinTech firms. 
  • Accelerator Program: This again is a 12-week program, but it’s meant for reasonably mature FinTechs who want to expand globally. The program fosters business collaboration between FinTechs and QFTH partners.
  • Hackathons: The program tries to find solutions to the challenges faced by FinTechs and provide them an incubation opportunity within the QFTH incubator program.

To ensure that these entrepreneurs get access to the best global practices, QFTH has partnered with internationally renowned Financial Institutions, Universities, Technology Developers, and other FinTech hubs. It would go a long way in strengthening the FinTech ecosystem in Qatar.

QTFH is now bringing Wave 2 of its much sought-after Incubator and Accelerator programs. With Emerge, Innovate, and Accelerate as its motto, QFTH has announced July 1, 2021, as demo day for Wave 2. In light of the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, this event will happen virtually. The event is being sponsored by Doha Bank and would bring together chief participants from the local financial system, global startups, investors, international FinTech hubs, and budding Fintech aspirants. The event has received a tremendous response globally, with more than 550 applications received from 55 countries. 11 early-stage FinTech Startups and 11 mature FinTechs have been selected for the programs.

FinTech Startups in Qatar

With so much to offer in terms of technical and financial support, QFTH has seen a lot of startups come up in the last few years and make a mark for themselves. A few of the local FinTech Startups have been mentioned below.

DIBSY

Founded in 2020, Dibsy is a payment solutions company that helps online and offline businesses accept payments through various online modes. It promises to revolutionize payments systems in the MENA region. With a user-friendly interface that’s easy to navigate, Dibsy offers a pay-by-link payment option. The merchants can send a link to their customers on any messaging services platform, which the customers can use to make the payments. It’s a hassle-free system that has emerged as a very viable alternative to the existing online payment systems. What’s more, it can be set up in less than 24 hours.

Late last year, it raised $3,00,000 in pre-seed funding. Salem Khalaf Al Mannai led the funding along with some local angel investors. And, with active support from the Qatar Financial Centre, Dibsy has mega plans to use the funds to expand and grow its business in the region.

Dibsy team! (Image source: dibsy.one) 

PaymentsMe

Based in Doha, PaymentsMe was established in 2015 to provide payments solutions to businesses. It helps merchants receive payments from around the world. A FinTech company, it offers payment methods that include recurring payments, credit and debit cards payments, bank transfers, and a host of other financial services. Besides various payment options, it also dissuades frauds and cyber-crimes. Furthermore, by facilitating electronic billing and invoicing, PaymentsMe immensely reduces paperwork.

Accounting Panel

Founded in 2018 and based in Doha, Accounting Panel is an online accounting software solutions provider for businesses. It offers software solutions for invoicing, expense tracking, cash flow management, inventory management, tax compliance, and online payment options. It also offers multiple subscription options based on the number of users.

As we can see, there is a tremendous opportunity for Fintech Startups in Qatar. QFTH and QDB ensure that such startups get all the support they need to turn visions into reality.

Team QT
Team QThttp://www.qatarstalk.com
Staff writer at QatarsTalk.com

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