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Qatar FinTech Hub, a QDB Incubator, Releases its First Global Report on the State of FinTech in Qatar and the Middle East

Oct 06, 2021 by Qanect

The Qatar FinTech Hub White Paper reviews the evolving sector and spotlights challenges, opportunities, and benefits for the international FinTech community  


Access to capital as well as a focus on innovation are among the top key assets the country enjoys, powered by several venture capital vehicles, abundance of global tech and business talent, in addition to well-built technology infrastructure


Qatar FinTech Hub (QFTH), founded by Qatar Development Bank (QDB) to support the growth of the FinTech sector in Qatar, released its first ever White Paper on the state of the fast-developing FinTech industry in Qatar and MENA.

 

Titled “From Qatar to the World: A report on the state of FinTech in Qatar”, the White Paper aims to provide a holistic review of the local and regional FinTech market, following the launch of Qatar’s National FinTech Strategy by the Qatar Central Bank (QCB). The strategy aims to facilitate the set up and growth of local FinTechs, while creating a favorable business ecosystem to attract international ones and entice them to make Qatar a launchpad for their regional and global expansion.  


The national efforts to boost the local FinTech sector has begun to bear fruit. Evidently, Qatar is emerging as a potential new home for FinTech in the region with QFTH becoming the 2nd largest FinTech venture investor in MENA in Q1 2021*. Such new status makes the White Paper a crucial and timely document for the global FinTech community, bringing entrepreneurs, investors, and stakeholders the insights and knowledge they need to identify gaps and possible market entry opportunities.

 

The report identifies challenges and opportunities within the context of global industry trends, while detailing the forces promoting the rapid growth of FinTech in the country, such as access to opportunities, favorable regulations, access to talent, and access to capital.


The country’s FinTech capabilities, in comparison to leading FinTech hubs from the US, UK, Singapore, Australia, India, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait, indicate that Qatar is in a good position in terms of access to capital and focus on innovation. The government has facilitated access to capital through several venture vehicles, and where innovation is concerned, Qatar was found to be performing better than its peers. Nevertheless, the country can further reinforce emphasis on innovation by launching a FinTech innovation division and an inter-university FinTech body to develop talent and raise awareness.


Mr. Abdulaziz Bin Nasser Al Khalifa, CEO of QDB and Chairman of QFTH Taskforce, said: “Qatar has been working hard to gain traction with globally trending technological developments and is shaping up as a technology-led economy. FinTech offers a significant opportunity to drive Qatar’s economic diversification, one of the four pillars of Qatar’s National Vision 2030. It also provides a massive opportunity for SMEs in GCC countries, particularly in Qatar, to gain greater access to funding, one of the major challenges they face globally.”
 

“Emerging technologies could play a significant role in the country’s overall economic transformation, especially where digitization of services is involved, including government to citizen, business to consumer, government to business, and business to business services. This report spotlights a myriad of opportunities for the FinTech community to become part of our success story,” he added.
 

Available for download via their website, QFTH has worked with leading research partners to conduct the groundwork for the Whitepaper. QFTH is also a platform where companies can enjoy access to a wide network of partners, mentors, and experts from across the globe, which has enabled it to succeed in conducting the first ever specialized FinTech incubation and acceleration programs, graduating 40+ FinTechs.
 

QFTH was established by QDB in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030, and QCB’s FinTech Strategy to build on Qatar’s success in the financial sector and enhance the country’s role in the field of financial innovation. The first wave of the program focused on Payment Technologies, whereas the second, which has recently graduated, centered around Emerging Technologies that address the challenges of financial institutions.  The themes and solutions were curated in alignment with the Qatar FinTech Strategy, and in synergy with QCB - Sandbox. QFTH is currently getting ready to kick off Wave 3 in October under the theme “Embedded Finance and TechFin”. Selected candidates will benefit from up to $250k in the form of in-kind support, up to $40K funding for incubator FinTechs, and up to $100K funding for accelerator FinTechs.


As part of its commitment to offering world-class expertise to participating FinTechs, QFTH is continuously collaborating with strategic stakeholders within the FinTech ecosystem including financial institutions, technology providers, payment networks, global FinTech hubs, academia, and regulators.


To download the White Paper or apply for wave 3 of the QFTH programs, please visit: www.fintech.qa
 

*According to MAGNITT FinTech Venture Report in MENA for Q1 2021.