Stripe launches in the Middle East with rollout in Dubai
Stripe, the US’s most valuable fintech startup, has launched its services in the Middle East, starting with the UAE.
The Irish-American financial services and software company has duel headquarters in San Francisco, Dublin and California. Recently valued at $95 following a $600m funding round, the payment solutions fintech which provides processing services for e-commerce and m-commerce businesses, chose Dubai as it’s launchpad destination in the Middle East.
The UAE has a burgeoning and fast emerging ecommerce marketplace that will welcome the opportunities that Stripe offers in terms of online payment solutions. Lockdown measures worldwide have accelerated the ecommerce market globally, leading to extreme growth for digital services and fintechs like Stripe entering new markets.
Stripe’s growth strategy
The expansion is part of Stripe’s which has seen the company invest millions in its European destinations too - with reports showing the fintech startup is now overtaking Elon Musk’s Space X. Musk and Peter Thiel were both early investors in the startup.
Founded in 2010 by Irish brothers John and Patrick Collison, Stripe’s platform competes directly with , and . It’s easy-to-integrate API and user-friendly interface has made it an instant hit with online entrepreneurs looking for a swift, simple and cost-effective payment solution.
According to reports, COVID-19 has been highly beneficial for the company, and has led to 12 months of stratospheric growth as hundreds of thousands of businesses globally went online and have begun utilising its services.
Stripe in the Middle East
Speaking about Stripe’s move into Dubai and the Middle East market, the fintech’s business lead for Europe and Middle East, Matt Henderson , said, “The opportunity for start-ups in the UAE is enormous. The opportunity for Stripe is very large as well. The UAE has clearly got a booming digital economy.”
Henderson reportedly told CNBC, “There are a lot of great local businesses that haven’t yet globalised. [Stripe is] One of the ways that will help them grow and therefore help them to resonate with investors is opening up these new markets.
“We’ve already seen just last year more than $600 million of investment into start-ups in the UAE. You’ve got this combination of talent, of investment, and entrepreneurship as well.”
He added. “So we see that there’s going to be a lot of exciting emerging technology businesses in the UAE. The ingredients are there for a much, much bigger trajectory.”
NFT Marketplace Rarible Raises US$14.2m
Alongside the funding announcement, Rarible has shared that they’ve officially partnered with NBA Top Shot maker Dapper Labs to bring their NFT marketplace to Dapper’s Flow blockchain. Dapper Labs has begun building out a wider coalition of NFT platforms on its proprietary blockchain which is more energy-efficient and less costly than transactions on the Ethereum network.
“To mark this next phase, we are also proud to enter an official partnership with Flow. Dapper Labs has an impressive track record of bringing NFTs mainstream by creating native experiences for non-crypto audiences. As a blockchain, Flow enables easier access and lowers the entry barrier for traditional consumers and brands, which makes it a perfect partner on our journey to the wider adoption.
“In the coming couple of months, we will be bringing Rarible on Flow as a primary and secondary marketplace, also welcoming the robust ecosystem of projects built on Flow blockchain,” Rarible said.
According to the company, last June, 6 months post-launch, total trading volume on Rarible hit the $28,000 mark. By June 2021 it grew by a mind-blowing 3000x, reaching $150 million in total sales.
“Just as we have always been at the forefront of the NFT movement, Rarible is determined to pioneer the next wave,” the co-founder of Rarible’s marketplace and CEO Alexei Falin said. “With this company milestone, we are thankful for the support of Venrock, 01 Advisors, and Coinfund and look forward to going beyond the current enclosed crypto environment and taking NFTs into mainstream consciousness.”
In a blog post the company says they hope to use this funding to explore more user-friendly developments like accepting credit card payments. “We need a world where an indie creator can effortlessly create an NFT and sell it for $5 to his community of supporters, as well as where a pop icon can use NFTs to establish close contact with her multi-million audience in a sustainable way.”
Rarible has a lot underway in the upcoming few months, including the launch of Rarible NFT protocol, L2 solution for scalability and sustainability, credit card payments, adoption of Flow blockchain, multiple partnerships and drops, and more. Many projects are already working on integrations with Rarible protocol, such as the partnership with one-click NFT creator S!NG that allows users to mint and put their NFTs on sale with no costs involved.