Startupbootcamp FinTech Dubai Second Cohort Raises $2.8m and Signs over 40 Proof of Concepts in DIFC

Startupbootcamp FinTech Dubai Second Cohort Raises $2.8m and Signs over 40 Proof of Concepts in DIFC
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Featured image credits: Supplied


▸ More than 50% growth in number of applications from 300 to 450 year-on-year
▸ Nearly fourfold increase in Proof of Concepts (PoCs) from nine to more than 40 year-on-year
▸ Diverse origin of the 10 start-ups each from 10 different countries in Europe, Asia, North America, Africa and Middle East
▸ Nine out of 10 start-ups choose DIFC as a stable and enabling long-term base to scale-up operations and benefit from easy access to the Middle East and North Africa


Startupbootcamp FinTech Dubai’s second cohort has completed its accelerator program featuring 10 start-ups from the UAE, Singapore, USA, India, Finland, Egypt, Uzbekistan, South Africa, Kazakhstan, and Lebanon – double the number of countries represented from the first cohort, reflecting its global appeal. The program has proven to be outstanding for partner engagement, generating the highest number of Proof of Concepts (PoCs) ever, increasing from nine PoCs in 2019 to more than 40 this year. 90 per cent of the start-ups are currently scaling their solutions in the UAE from Dubai within various sectors such as digital lending, banking, payments and credit decision-making, thanks to Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), VISA, Mashreq & HSBC.

The Startupbootcamp FinTech Dubai accelerator program launched its first cohort in 2018. Over the last three years, FinTech has become a rapidly growing focus, supporting Dubai’s position as the leading global financial hub in the Middle East, African and South Asia region. To reflect the importance of fostering FinTech development in the DIFC, Startupbootcamp, together with its partners facilitate an intensive three-month growth program located in FinTech Hive at DIFC to support the business growth of start-ups and prepare them for operations and future scaling. Start-ups also benefit from mentorship and easy access to comprehensive resources, insights, technology and world-leading expertise.

From a pool of more than 450 international applicants, up more than 50 per cent from the previous year, the 10 successful start-ups in Startupbootcamp FinTech’s second cohort underwent a three-month accelerator program from January to April 2020 in the heart of the leading financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region DIFC. During the program, the startups participated in 150+ hours of mentoring, 120+ meetings and investor connections along with receiving 30+ hours of pitch practice.

Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer, DIFC Authority, said,

“Despite the unprecedented pandemic challenges facing the global community, we have remained steadfast in our commitment to developing fresh and innovative FinTech start-ups in the DIFC through our strategic partnership with Startupbootcamp. The second cohort’s achievements reflect our unrivalled focus on driving the future of finance, providing the ideal growth platform for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and venture capital firms to unlock opportunities to scale up in the region. Through our unique best-in-class infrastructure and extensive expertise available throughout our international community of some of the world’s leading financial institutions and start-up firms, there truly is an unmatched opportunity for ambitious start-ups to gain access to capital and elevate their businesses to the next level.”

Lars Buch, CEO of Startupbootcamp MENA, commented on the opening of the application,

“Startupbootcamp has developed the world’s largest network of Fintech accelerators and Dubai is among the most interesting hubs at present. We notice a sharp upturn in quality of regional startups and forecast a new major leap in building startups with sustainable growth from Dubai. Besides this, the evolution and continuous progress of the industry would not be possible without the outstanding support of companies like DIFC, Visa, Mashreq and HSBC, that provide startups with unparalleled levels of insight, technology and expertise.”

Speaking of his experience with Startupbootcamp Dubai Fintech Accelerator, Sujoy, co-founder of Datacltr, said,

“From connections to founders, mentors, investors to invaluable advice from the partners, the experience has been full of focus and learning. We formed very strong bonds with other founders who were part of the cohort, I know I have friends around the world who I can reach out to anytime.”

Startupbootcamp adopted a quick response to the current COVID-19 global pandemic by taking their second cohort investor day online. Investors were able to watch the start-ups’ pitches, go through their pitch decks and book virtual meetings with them.

Waleed, founder of Fawaterak said,

“One of the best things I saw in SBC was that the whole team is doing their best to help each and every one of the startups. They act as our partners working hard for our success.”

Nabil, founder of CueTraders said,

“The program has been valuable as it helped us shape our value proposition to fit the market and our customers. Through it, we have developed valuable connections with the investment community and startup ecosystem.”

Carsten Koelbek, Co-Founder of Startupbootcamp, highlighted,

“To date we have invested in and accelerated more than 200 FinTech and InsurTech startups globally.”

More information about the Startupbootcamp FinTech Dubai Accelerator can be found on the official page.


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