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New York-Based Wahed Raises $25M For Islamic Investment Platform

Wahed Invest, a New York-based fintech startup that describes itself as the world’s first halal robo adviser, announced today that it has raised $25 million in a funding round.

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Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures (also known as Wa’ed Ventures) the venture capital arm of Saudi Aramco, led the financing for Wahed (which means “one” in Arabic).

Existing backers BECO and Cue Ball Capital, as well as Dubai Cultiv8 and Rasameel, also participated in the round. With the latest financing, Wahed has now raised a known $40 million in funding since its 2015 founding by Junaid Wahedna, according to Crunchbase data.

Wahed raised $8 million in a seed round in October 2018 that valued the company at $100 million post-money, according to Crunchbase. It is not clear at what valuation this latest round was raised.

In 2016, Wahed launched what it describes as the “world’s first automated Islamic investment platform, with the aim of providing access to halal portfolio management for 2 billion Muslims around the world.” The proprietary platform uses real-time software the company says is fully automated and uses customized financial optimization algorithms.

The company said it plans to use its new capital mainly toward building out its subsidiary in Saudi Arabia. It currently has more than 100,000 clients globally.

Last October, Wahed launched in Malaysia after the Malaysian Securities Commission awarded the company with that country’s first Islamic Robo Advisory license. And last May, Wahed announced it was expanding its operations globally.

The platform, which was previously available only to U.S. and U.K. communities, as of May 2019 provided access to “Islamic value-based investing” to residents of over 130 countries including Nigeria, India, Pakistan and the MENA region.

In a written statement, Wa’ed Ventures managing director Wassim Basrawi said: “We believe in Wahed’s mission to provide ethical investing. The company has taken the lead in delivering investment services to one of the world’s fastest growing sectors – Islamic Finance. Wahed is also, in the true spirit of FinTech, helping to broaden the investment landscape.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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