Wahed Invest obtains $8m from existing investors
Wahed Invest, a New York-based investing platform, has raised $8 million from existing investors, with aims to accelerate development of a global savings solution and international expansion.
The digital investment company received this funding from existing investors, Cue Ball Capital, and BECO Capital. This brings its total funding to over $15 million since inception.
It claims to be the first Islamic fintech start-up to reach a valuation of $100 million.
Wahed says it brought the first halal digital investment advisor, allowing savers from all income brackets to invest in a globally diversified portfolio of ethically responsible stocks, sukuk and gold starting at $100.
“After our traction in the US and UK, we are actively looking to expand internationally to offer our product to the world,” says CEO and founder Junaid Wahedna. “Wahed aspires to lead innovation in the growing Islamic Finance sector and provide a non-lending-based savings solution to the 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide.”
Existing Islamic banks offer investment product focused on HNWI and institutional clients, largely ignoring retail and less affluent clients, a demographic that Wahed intends to target.
“Wahed represent the quintessential Islamic markets opportunity; an addressable audience of 1.5 billion, 62% of which is under the age of 30 and a rapidly rising middle class, who demand convenient, on-demand digital tools for financial services that are aligned with their values, but at the same time contemporary in functionality and use,” says Dr Sayd Farook, vice chair of the board of trustees, Responsible Finance and Investment Foundation (RFI).
Wahed says its UK launch in August saw over 1,000 registered users in the first month, which was more than twice as fast as what it saw in the US.
As a second phase, Wahed Invest plans to launch next in the UAE, the wider GCC region and ASEAN markets. According to Accenture, only 1% of the $50 billion investment in Fintech since 2010 has been in the MENA region.
Wahed Invest has a full-time Ethical Review Board to comply to Islamic principles.