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Abu Dhabi’s Sarwa raises $15 million in Mubadala-led Series B to democratize investing


Abu Dhabi-headquartered investment platform Sarwa has closed a $15 million Series B round led by Mubadala (Investment Company), it announced today. The round takes Sarwa’s total financing to date to over $25 million and was also joined by 500 Startups, Kuwait Projects Company, Shorooq Partners, Middle East Venture Partners, DIFC, Hambro Perks Oryx Fund, Hala Ventures, and Vision Ventures.

Founded by Mark Chahwan, Jad Sayegh, and Nadine Mezher, Sarwa makes investing easy for an average investor in the Middle East. It enables users to invest their savings with as little as $5 across different stocks using Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) through its web and mobile apps. The platform suggests users a portfolio and investment plan based on their risk appetite and financial goals. It has recently introduced Sarwa Crypto, a portfolio with 5 percent exposure to Bitcoin (through Grayscale Bitcoin Trust GBTC, the world’s first and largest publicly quoted Bitcoin investment vehicle).

Sarwa offers its users the option to run investments on autopilot based on their investment plan by automating deposits. The platform also offers access to human advisors who can help users with their investment decisions.

The fintech has recently also announced that it will allow users to invest in individual stocks with as little as $1 across major stock exchanges in the world. Sarwa Trade which is currently in the pre-launch phase will be a commission-free trading platform.

Launched in February 2018, Sarwa claims to have registered 40,000 users, “With a turbulent global financial landscape in 2020, Sarwa experienced an influx of new clients, leading deposits to nearly double,” noted a statement by Sarwa.

Mark Chahwan, the co-founder and CEO of Sarwa, said, “Thousands of clients already use Sarwa to grow their money and build a better future, and this investment will fuel our growth so that we can reach millions more. We want to ensure that everyone has access to simple, smart, and affordable financial products and services. Sarwa is built on the combination of innovative tech and a customer-centric brand. Having the support of some of the world’s leading investors proves that Sarwa is well-positioned to lead this transformation in the region. We will continue helping our clients build for a better financial future.”

Ibrahim Ajami, Head of Ventures and Growth at Mubadala Investment Company, said, “Sarwa is revolutionizing the financial services landscape in the Middle East by offering a range of investment solutions to a large market that has had little access to such services in the past. In just three years, the company has nearly doubled its client funds and expanded its product base to include a wider range of securities and asset classes, reflecting the potential for further exponential growth.”

“When Mubadala looks at early-stage investment opportunities, the quality of the founders is of paramount importance, and we strongly believe that Sarwa’s management team has the vision and passion to lead the company into its next phase of growth,” he added.

Sarwa plans to use the latest funds to expand its market position, grow the team, and launch new products that will address all aspects of personal finance. Some other notable players in the space include New York-headquartered Wahed, Dubai-based Baraka that recently raised $4 million in a seed round and launched its investment app, and Cairo-based Thndr.