Port Rashid, Dubai
Port Rashid, Dubai Emiel Molenaar/Unsplash

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Innovation Hub concluded its annual flagship Investor Day on Tuesday, raising over $600 million in funding and witnessing the graduation of 19 startups from the FinTech Accelerator Program.

DIFC Innovation Hub, the first and biggest financial technology accelerator in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, was attended by over 500 people, including finalists of the ninth edition of the FinTech Accelerator Program and the seventh edition of AccelerateHer.

"FinTech Accelerator Program has a phenomenal track record of empowering start-ups by helping them to transform their ideas into products and offerings unique to the financial market," Mohammad AlBlooshi, CEO of DIFC Innovation Hub, said, as per WAM.

"The solutions showcased this year are some of the best we have seen within the industry and we congratulate these pioneers on successfully completing their programs," he added.

"In 2023, the program also saw a record-breaking number of participants with over 700 applicants for a single cohort, out of which 19 start-ups graduated. We wish them every success as they continue to innovate and push boundaries," AlBlooshi said further.

The event also marked a panel discussion titled "Future of Investment: Tech Investment Trends in the Region," which featured industry thought leaders such as Sharif Elbadawi, CEO of Dubai Future District Fund; Khaled Talhouni, managing partner of Nuwa Capital and Khaled Lababidi, operating partner at Arbor Ventures. The panel discussion was moderated by Saqr Ereiqat, co-founder of Crypto Oasis.

While the FinTech Accelerator Program graduates created more than 20 proofs-of-concept, 10 women financial services professionals from AccelerateHer graduates showcased their skills and plans related to banks and insurance.

Participants of AccelerateHer received endorsement and mentorship from Dubai Islamic Bank this year, while the FinTech Accelerator Program has received support from Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company, Emirates NBD, Emirates Post Group, HSBC, Mauritius Commercial Bank, Visa and Zurich.

DIFC Innovation Hub, a corporate campus in Dubai, is home to more than 800 FinTech and Innovation companies that are working on their potential in future finance. Many innovative startups such as Norbloc, Sarwa, Tarabut Gateway and Zywa are products of this campus.