Jul 15, 2020

Property and Fintech Start-up, iknowa, Launches New Platform

Fintech
Finance
Technology
Rob Kreis, FischTank PR
3 min
Property and Fintech Start-up, iknowa, Launches New Platform
Fintech start-up, iknowa launches a revolutionary new platform for homeowners, property developers and tradespeople...

The London-based tech startup leverages AI, ML, and cognitive technologies to address inefficiencies, transforming the way building and renovation projects are procured and performed for homeowners, property developers and tradespeople.

iknowa, a property and financial technology startup, that is making building and renovation projects easier, safer and more efficient, today, announced its availability in the greater London area. 

Historically, tradespeople have struggled to generate quality leads through existing referral websites that charge fees, regardless of if the tradesperson gets the job or not. Similarly, homeowners and developers have struggled to find quality tradespeople due to the inability from existing platforms to comprehensively verify the quality, workmanship and expertise of tradespeople. 

iknowa’s patented software applies ML & AI to assist homeowners, property developers and tradespeople in analysing project quality and performance to proactively address issues before they arise. Through automation and optimisation, the platform reduces time and money spent on administrative tasks, while enhancing the posting, quoting and management, for all user groups. 

Connected and underpinned by a banking infrastructure, iknowa’s applied algorithms handle proprietary methods of ranking user groups and organisation performance to improve project quality and support business development. Project-related data is securely stored to increase trust, reduce waste and improve quality. 

“For too long, the construction industry has lagged behind when it comes to tech adoption that increases overall efficiency, transparency & simplifies project processes. iknowa equips homeowners & tradespeople with innovative, transparent and cost-effective tools, freeing users from repetitive and time-consuming tasks so that they can spend more time on what they do best and what they love. iknowa is well-positioned to bring big tech experience to the home construction and renovation industry with a platform that provides a better experience and safety to all stakeholders.” - Allar Ahtmann, Chairman and CEO of iknowa

Benefits for Tradespeople

iknowa’s platform offers tradespeople continuous personalised support in building a reputable business portfolio, while providing them with a free and simple way to find and quote on jobs. Combining AI and standardised frameworks, iknowa easily enables, tradespeople to convert quotes into project plans through integrated project management tools, reducing time and money spent on administrative tasks 

while guaranteeing payments for jobs won. iknowa creates personalised pathways for junior tradespeople, providing them with new and unique opportunities to gain experience while enabling established tradespeople access to skilled junior talent. The platform’s intelligent infrastructure is built in a way that serves homeowners more than any other service on the market, which, in turn, increases the consistent workflow for our tradespeople.

Benefits for Homeowners/Property Developers

iknowa offers a user-friendly, free and simple way to post building and renovation jobs. The intuitive platform enables homeowners and property developers to compare tradespeople for hire and receive quotes. Using iknowa AI assistance, users can track and manage job progress while ensuring protected payments through a secure escrow account. iknowa provides continued personalised support to homeowners and property developers throughout the entirety of the project. 

"Technology adoption is influenced by its nature to be complementary or disruptive to an industry. At iknowa, we chose to work with our market to create a platform built upon trust, transparency and safety. Put simply, our users want a solution that provides opportunity, while eliminating the current associated risks. iknowa is the only company that is dedicated to addressing the concerns related to quality, reliability, and miscommunication associated with the building and renovation projects, head-on while simplifying the otherwise convoluted building and renovation industry.” - Keano Chang, President and COO of iknowa

About iknowa

iknowa is a London-based property and financial technology startup that is disrupting the outdated home construction and renovation industry by connecting homeowners and property developers with over 500 validated tradespeople while providing unprecedented access to project status and data. Through AI and ML, the platform provides all parties with continuous support to ensure successful projects. 

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Jun 24, 2021

Islamic fintech Waheb plans UK expansion: Hires expert GM

wahed
islamicfinance
Fintech
Sharia
4 min
The world’s leading Islamic fintech company has hired top industry expert Umer Suleman to oversee Waheb Inc’s UK-wide expansion plans

Wahed Inc has hired a leading industry expert to take Islamic finance forward in the UK marketplace. 

Umer Suleman has been appointed as General Manager of UK operations for Wahed Inc.. His role will include overseeing Wahed Invest’s nationwide growth strategy and strengthening the firm’s position as a leading provider of ethically focused investment services. 

Suleman’s track record includes over 15 years of regulatory, risk, and strategy consultancy roles, as well as advisory positions across a variety of businesses and sectors including positions at UKIFC, Daiwa Capital Management, and Ernst & Young (EY).

He also spent seven years at HSBC as Head of KYC Risk globally within their Global Banking and Markets business, Head of Business and Conduct Risk for MENA within Retail Banking, and headed up the CCO function for Digital (GLCM) within the UK with a global remit.

Wahed and the growing role of Islamic finance

The startup fintech was founded in 2017 and is an American company based in New York City. Since its inception,  it has grown from strength to strength and in July 2019, launched the first exchange-traded fund in the US that was compliant with Sharia law. 

Islamic finance typically refers to the way businesses and individuals raise capital in accordance with Sharia, or Islamic law. It also refers to the types of investments that are permissible under Islam. 

Wahed currently operates in 130 countries and has offices in Washington D.C, New York, London and Dubai. It has also developed an easily accessible digital platform that balances ethical finance with modern investments, attracting over 200,000 active clients from around the world with features such as free portfolio recommendations and no hidden fees.

Wahed UK expansion plans

According to reports, the UK is highly receptive to services in the Islamic finance sector and is also one of the fastest-growing markets globally.  It has a three million-strong Muslim population and one of the most developed Islamic finance sectors outside of the traditional Muslim regions, with global population figures projected to double over the next forty years. 

It is hoped Suleman’s leadership of Wahed will address the underbanked needs of the Muslim community while also serving the increasing number of retail investors currently seeking ethical alternatives to wealth creation. 

Speaking about the new role, Wahed CEO, Junaid Wahedna, explained  “Mr. Suleman’s appointment reaffirms our commitment to providing innovative and outstanding ethically driven financial services to a market that, historically, has been underserved.

“We’re delighted to welcome Umer to the team and firmly believe that with him at the helm, our operations in the UK will continue to go from strength to strength and provide customers seeking ethical investments with accessible, trustworthy and innovative solutions.”

The appointment follows on from Wahed’s recent investment round and its acquisition of the UK-based fintech Niyah.

These events will support the company in its plans to build an Islamic marketplace that meets growing demand for socially conscious investors – and not just those of Islamic faith. 

The fintech firm also plans to utilise the UK’s position as a leading hub for Islamic finance as a springboard into other European cities, and believes it has a central role to play in providing Shariah-compliant services that address inclusion and inequality.

The Islamic finance industry is currently valued at around US$2.4trn and is expected to grow steadily by 10-12% over 2021 and 2022, having experienced rapid growth in recent years.

THREE reasons why Islamic finance is a growing sector

  1. The UK Muslim population is growing - and has been traditionally underserved by incumbent banks. The Muslim population is growing twice as fast the world’s non-Muslim population and Islamic finance address this group’s needfor  Shariah compliant financial products.
  2. It encourages financial inclusion. According to the World Bank, financial inclusion is defined as individuals and businesses having access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs – transactions, payments, savings, credit and insurance – delivered in a responsible and sustainable way.
  3. It supports Sharia compliant products. Transactions that work with industries forbidden in Islam (gambling, usury and speculation) are forbidden. Islamic banking only works with businesses that adhere to their ethical and moral standards.

 

Image credit: Wahed Inc team

 

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