It has also announced it will be part of Y Combinator’s Summer Cohort 2021, and has also launched its anticipated millennials-focused investment app.
Dubai-based fintech, Baraka, has secured $4 million in a Seed round led by a host of venture capital (VC) firms Global Founders Capital, FJ Labs, Raptor Group, Tribe Capital, Nuwa Capital, VentureSouq, and Class 5 Global.
It has also announced that it is part of the 2021 Summer Cohort of US Seed accelerator Y Combinator (YC), becoming the fourth startup from the UAE to join the YC.
Founded in 2020, Baraka seeks to simplify the process of investing in US securities for the Middle East’s retail investors, primarily operating through education and content, namely in an investment academy, newsletters, and a podcast.
Now, following the new funding, Baraka has now launched a commission-free mobile investment app which enables its user base in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman to invest in up to 5,000 US-listed securities, including stocks, exchange-traded funds (EFTs), and fractional shares, bypassing the need for any minimal investment requirements.
Initially announced in March 2021, the launch had been pending regulatory authorisation from Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), which was given in June 2021. In that time, the app’s waiting list amassed over 10,000 users across the Middle East.
Baraka CEO and Founder, Feras Jablout, pointed to the impressive waitlist as a “[validation] of what we’re building,” saying it has demonstrated “that there is a genuine need for a platform that offers regional retail investors insights and access to international markets.”
“The feedback we received during the beta testing phase has been invaluable in helping us fine-tune the platform to meet user needs, and we can’t wait for people to finally begin their investment journey now that the app is live,” he added.
Khaled Talhouni, the Managing Partner at investor Nuwa Capital described Baraka as “leading the charge in transforming the way in which investors access global capital markets and is at the center of our thinking of how technology can reinvent entire sectors.”
The startup plans to use the new funds to further enhance its platform and scale in the region.