Four firms from the Middle East make KPMG's top 100 fintech list

21 November 2018 3 min. read

Firms from four Middle Eastern nations have made this year’s KMPG Fintech 100 list, with Bahrain, the UAE, Jordan and Israel represented among the world’s top established and emerging financial technology innovators.

KPMG’s annual Fintech100 list, compiled in collaboration with fintech capital investors H2 Ventures, recognises the world’s leading innovators operating in the fintech sector – those companies which are ‘creating products and services at the juncture of technology and financial services who are seeking to disrupt the existing processes and products that dominate the marketplace.’

Now into its fifth edition, Chinese companies again continue to dominate the list, claiming three of the top five places and half of the top dozen – with the world’s largest third-party payments platform and Alibaba spin-off Ant Financial backing up on last year’s top spot. Altogether, a growing number of firms from Asia appeared on the list (30) – yet several countries made an appearance for the first time, including Jordan and the UAE.

Four firms in total from the Middle East made this year’s overall list, with the selection divided evenly between fifty established and fifty emerging fintechs. Down slightly from last year in 32nd on the established fintech subset (from 25th in 2017), is 2012-founded Israeli equity crowdfunding platform OurCrowd – which in the past year surpassed $1 billion in assets under management.KPMG global leading fintechs listFollowing OurCrowd, in third place on the emerging list, is UAE entry Aqeed, an insuretech company providing the region’s first digital insurance platform – allowing customers to both buy their insurance (home, auto, business, travel, life and health) online as well as manage and service it. Launched just this year after an $18 million series A funding round, Aqeed is the first start-up from the UAE to make the KPMG list since its inception, highlighting the growing push to establish the Emirates as a premier global fintech hub.

Also as a first-time country-representative on the list, is Jordan’s Liwwa Inc in the emerging category. Founded by Ahmed Moorin and Samer Atiani in 2013, Liwwa is the MENA region’s first peer-to-peer lending platform connecting small and medium enterprises with investors – having helped businesses raise nearly $15 million in capital through 383 loans in just the past few years.

The last of the Middle Eastern companies named on the KPMG list is Bahrain-based global business-to-business online payments provider PayTabs, which backed up from a recent 4th placing on Forbes’ Top 100 Start-ups in the Middle East list for 2018. Established in 2014 by Abdulaziz Fahad Aljouf, and since funded to the tune of $20 million, PayTabs is now available in 18 countries throughout the Middle East and Asia, and this year became a founding partner of Bahrain’s Fintech Bay.

Commenting on the report, Jalil Al Aali, Partner and head of financial services at KPMG in Bahrain said, “There have been significant efforts to transform the Kingdom of Bahrain into a fintech hub. The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) regulatory sandbox is a key example of how the ecosystem in Bahrain is evolving to support adoption of fintech in Bahrain. The recent open banking consultation issued by the CBB will further support Bahrain in positioning itself as a fintech hub."

All up, 36 different countries were represented on this year’s list, with payments-focused companies the most prominent with 34 entries followed by those operating in the lending domain (22) – joined this year by 12 companies in the insuretech segment. Overall, the top 50 firms attracted an aggregated $26 billion in capital during just the past year – up 366 percent on the previous twelve months.