One of the biggest remitttance houses in the Gulf, UAE Exchange, has joined investors to back local personal finance website Souqalmal, it was announced on Tuesday.
Souqalmal.com has raised $10 million in a Series B fundraising round with new investors that also included the UK’s GoCompare Group and Saudi Arabia-based private equity firm Riyad Taqnia.
UAE Exchange has become increasingly active in the technology space, investing in a number of tech-driven start-ups in recent months in an attempt to develop its own business.
For example, in August, the firm was reported to be in talks with US blockchain start-up Ripple to help it introduce real time, cross-border payments using blockchain technology.
The remittance house had already invested in two other blockchain-related companies in the previous past six months.
Souqalmal.com aims to help consumers to make good personal finance choices by bringing together in one platform the latest deals on more than 3,200 banking, insurance and education products offered by providers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Under the deal with Souqalmal.com, physical ‘shops’ showcasing the start-up’s services are to be installed in UAE Exchange outlets, taking the business offline for the first time.
Meanwhile, the investment in Souqalmal by GoCompare Group marks the first international investment by the UK price comparision website, according to a statement.
Ambareen Musa, CEO & Founder of Souqalmal.com, said: “We have been experiencing significant growth in all our markets and our insurance business has increased by 800 percent over the past year.
“Service optimisation and customer focus have also enabled us to slash our customer acquisition cost by 80 percent.
“The time is now to build on our strong foundation and take the company to the next level.”
He said the funding would largely be used to launch new business lines, develop the platform’s technology, and invest in marketing to further raise awareness.
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