Baraka, the Middle East platform for commission-free investing, has closed a $20 million Series A round led by Valar Ventures.
It marks the first regional investment for Valar, a venture capital firm backed by entrepreneur Peter Thiel. The global investment company Knollwood closed the round.
Launched in 2021, Baraka gives regional investors access to commission-free investing, over 6,000 US stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
From $1, investors on the platform can build diversified portfolios and long-term wealth by taking advantage of global stock markets to achieve financial independence.
With this new investment, baraka will double its presence in the GCC and Egypt and drive customer acquisition.
In addition, the company will continue to develop its app with new services expected to launch over the next 12 months, including access to features such as dividend reinvestment plans, extended hourly trading and much more.
As part of its growth plans, baraka intends to create further access to regional economies where it aims to secure licensing in the future. In addition, the company has committed most of this fundraising to new markets, which has created more access to regional exchanges for regional investors.
Feras Jalbout, founder and CEO of baraka, said: “In just one year since our launch, tens of thousands of users have signed up for baraka. By empowering the next generation of investors in our region with affordable and comprehensive investment choices, we remain committed to enabling financial inclusion for millions of investors across MENA. We are excited to have Valar Ventures and Knollwood join us in transforming how users here save, invest and grow their money for the future.”
Andrew McCormack, general partner at Valar Ventures, commented: “We are proud to support the emerging world-class team at baraka with our first investment in the Middle East. The region’s emerging fintech ecosystem has enormous potential and we are encouraged by the early signs of traction that baraka has been able to demonstrate. We really look forward to working closely with the company as they enter this exciting new phase of growth across the region.”
Baraka will continue to attract global fintech talent to the region while hiring locally for key departmental positions. With $25 million raised so far, the company will also explore new markets for expansion in MENA.
baraka is a Y Combinator-backed company and is also part of Abu Dhabi’s global technology ecosystem, Hub71. The investors include regional and international VCs such as Class 5 Global, Global Founders Capital and Venture Souq.
Baraka is headquartered in the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), and is regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (“DFSA”).
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