Welsh fintech firm Delio has been the only UK firm selected to join a first-of-its-kind accelerator programme in Dubai.
The accelerator programme, launched in collaboration with Accenture and Fintech Hive at The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) consists of a 12-week curriculum in which the 11 finalists will work closely with financial institutions and other stakeholders to create real solutions to address the evolving needs of the region’s financial services industry.
Several criteria were used to evaluate finalists, including the level of business maturity, the potential to thrive in the Fintech Hive at DIFC and degree of fit with the partnering financial institutions.
The 11 candidates selected to take part in the accelerator include fintech firms from Azerbaijan, the USA, Dubai, India, Jordan, Singapore, Sweden and the UK. Delio - which helps financial institutions connect private asset investments with high net worth capital through interlinked white-label platforms - is the only successful UK FinTech to make it onto the programme.
Commenting on the launch of the accelerator, Raja Al Mazrouei, Acting Executive Vice President of Fintech Hive at DIFC, said: “These 11 start-ups demonstrate a delicate balance of remarkable vision, practical application and commercial potential in the FinTech space.”
Sushil Saluja, Senior Managing Director of Financial Services in Europe, Africa, Middle East and Latin America at Accenture said: “The exceptional quality of the proposals we received holds great promise for the future of FinTech in the UAE and the region.
“As FinTech continues to be a gamechanger for the financial services industry, nurturing innovative talent is a fundamental priority because of the immense benefits it brings to the economy and society.”
In the first phase of the 12-week programme, each finalist will meet executives from the accelerator’s financial institution partners - including Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Citi, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates Islamic, Emirates NBD, HSBC, Mashreq, Network International, RAKBANK, Standard Chartered and Visa - in which they will discuss industry challenges and possible solutions to address them.
Participants will also meet with representatives from strategic partners, Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) and UAE Exchange.
During these meetings, the executives will hear more about the technology, provide preliminary feedback and discuss potential mentorship opportunities.
The second phase will revolve around engagement with partners and mentorship by the financial institutions, as well as other select partners who will cover technology, legal, Islamic Finance and regulatory themes to name a few.
Finalists will also be connected with fellow entrepreneurs in Islamic Fintech and offered legal advice on how to navigate the region’s legal landscape.
The third and final phase will be pitch preparation for the investor day in mid-November where each start-up will promote its product to a host of investors, bankers, government officials and media.
Delio already has offices in London, Cardiff, Manchester and Brussels and the accelerator programme marks the next step in the firm’s international growth strategy.
CEO of Delio, Gareth Lewis said: “Being the only UK fintech to make it onto the programme is a huge validation of the Delio solution and the role we can play in helping institutions connect private investors with investment opportunities across borders.
“Currently 50% of Delio’s income comes from export sales and there are huge opportunities for us in the United Arab Emirates. We are looking forward to taking part in the programme and pushing further forward with our growth strategy in the region.”