Investor Forum kick starts the FinTech Abu Dhabi Festival 2019
Over 400 delegates gathered at Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Authorities Building in Abu Dhabi today to network and identify MENA’s next unicorn. The FinTech event, now in its third year, opened with the first Investor Forum.
Discussions included how to identify the unicorn of 2020, as well as how to navigate a potential 2020 financial crisis. Today also included a notable announcement from Mubadala, who launched to funds worth US$250mn for MENA-based startups.
Richard Teng, CEO of Financial Services Regulatory Authority of ADGM said “Moving ahead, close to 500 FinTech companies in the Middle East will raise over USD 2 billion in venture capital funding in the next 3 years, based on a Milken Institute Report. And Abu Dhabi will be at the epicentre of this exciting development.”
“In the first half of 2019, the MENA region saw close to half a billion USD of VC (Venture Capital) funding in start-ups, excluding Souq and Careem. This is a 66% increase compared to the same period last year. More than a quarter of the funding was invested in the UAE, with the FinTech industry being the most vibrant sector, accounting for 17% of all deals done.
He shares that over 5,000 individuals will be in attendance over the two-day event.
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He added: “Great strides for FinTech have already been made in the MENA region, but there are massive opportunities for more. And there is no substitute for face-to-face meetings like today’s Forum to build closer ties, and find new ways to create value.”
The event is due to continue tomorrow at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) with His Excellency Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State (UAE) and Executive Chairman of ADGM, giving the opening speech. Delegates can expect keynote speeches and discussions on how to create a billion-dollar company, as well as the role of AI in fintech. There will be an awards ceremony for innovation as well as a contest designed for start-ups to pitch their ideas to Silicon Valley.
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