The founder of the digital Islamic investment platform, Junaid Wahedna, announced that it has raised US$25 million in an investment round led by the venture capital investment wing of Saudi Aramco, Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures (Wa’ed Ventures).
“Having Aramco as an investor is really important for us, as clients get a lot of reassurance from investing through a company backed by strong and familiar names,” Wahedna said. Other investors like BECO, CueBall Capital Dubai Cultiv8 and Rasameel participated.
Wahed (meaning “One”) offers Sharia-compliant investments which is a combination of the modern investment theory and Sharia laws. Islamic finance and ethical investment has been gaining growing interest and the startup has been tapping into this market successfully.
The funds received by the 3-year-old company will be used to expand internationally, especially in the Middle East and make Riyadh its hub in the region. The platform currently offers its services in the US and UK and boasts of 100,000 clients. The startup is aiming for regulatory approval in at least 20 countries and focus on nations with a high Muslim population like India, Indonesia and Nigeria.
Reports suggest a total of $40 million in funding has been raised since its 2015 founding by Mr. Wahedna. In 2016, Wahed launched what it describes as the “world’s first automated Islamic investment platform, with the aim of providing access to halal portfolio management for 2 billion Muslims around the world.”
Wassim Basrawi, Managing Director at Wa’ed Ventures, commented: “We believe in Wahed’s mission to provide ethical investing. The company has taken the lead in delivering investment services to one of the world’s fastest-growing sectors — Islamic Finance. Wahed is also, in the true spirit of fintech, helping to broaden the investment landscape. This latest funding round will enable Wahed to make Saudi their regional MENA hub and contribute towards a fast-growing fintech ecosystem.”