GCC states missing from annual Deloitte and KPMG tech lists

20 November 2019 Consultancy-me.com 3 min. read

The Big Four professional services firms Deloitte and KPMG have released their annual tech and fintech benchmarks – with firms from the GCC failing to make an impact.

Despite concerted efforts toward establishing the region as a technological innovator, and in particular a global fintech hub, the Gulf states remain largely absent from two annual rankings in the field; Deloitte’s latest Technology Fast 500 list for the EMEA, and fellow Big Four KPMG’s 2019 Fintech100 – with the only exception being UAE-based MenaPay, which featured among the ‘Emerging 50’ on the latter.

Now into its 18th year, the Technology Fast 500’ rankings compiled by Deloitte’s Global Technology, Media & Telecommunications group is a measure of revenue growth among tech firms – this year, percentage fiscal-year revenue growth from 2014 to 2017 – with the top 500 fastest growing firms in each of three geographies (EMEA, North America and Asia) making the cut. No GCC firms landed on the EMEA list.

Averaging out at a rate of 969 percent – and topped by Swedish content marketing company Strossle, with remarkable growth of 19,900 percent – the latest crop continues the absence of Arab nations from the list. In terms of the Middle East, companies from Israel and Turkey claimed close to 10 percent of the places combined (with both featuring among the top ten innovators overall), including seven of the top 20 spots.GCC states missing from major tech listsMeanwhile, Arab representation on KPMG’s global Fintech100 has also dipped, dropping from three entries last year to the solitary listing for 2019. Beyond simple revenue growth, the KPMG rankings assess average annual capital raised, the rate of recent capital-raising, and geographic and sectoral diversity. For the ‘Emerging 50’ list, the firm also considers the degree of product, service and business model innovation.

With the fintech firms of the Asia Pacific increasingly asserting their dominance on the list, this year taking up 42 of the slots including eight of the top ten, crypto-payment company MenaPay was the only Gulf entry – making the unranked Emerging 50 portion of the list. Israel meanwhile increased its tally, with last year’s 32nd-placed OurCrowd hanging on at 46th and joined by INVIOU and OKO Finance on the Emerging 50.

Described as a revolutionary blockchain-based, fully backed cryptocurrency to provide a secure and transparent payment gateway, the MenaPay payment platform (MenaChain Solutions) – headquartered in Dubai but with a secondary base in Istanbul – was launched only at the beginning of this year, targeting what the company says is an 84 percent 'unbanked' rate among the wider MENA population.  

Altogether, the companies featured on this year’s Fintech100 list have raised over $70 billion in venture capital (up 35 percent on last year), with $18 billion of that raised in the past twelve months. And MenaPay is looking to add to that figure, aiming for unicorn status by the end of the year with a network of 1,000 merchants and 10 million users. The company is also keen to establish offices in Egypt, KSA and Bahrain.