The UAE's SHUAA Capital Acquires Majority Stake In Homegrown Fintech Platform Souqalmal

With the investment, Souqalmal plans to execute a growth plan over the next 24 months.

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Dubai-based investment bank and asset manager SHUAA Capital has acquired a majority stake in UAE-based financial comparison platform Souqalmal. While the size of the stake hasn't been disclosed, Souqalmal plans to make use of the investment to execute a growth plan over the next 24 months.

Ambareen Musa, founder and CEO, Souqalmal

Following the investment, SHUAA joins existing strategic investors Riyad Capital and UK comparison website GoCompare, which remain as shareholders in Souqalmal. Ambareen Musa, who launched Souqalmal in 2012, will continue to lead the enterprise and oversee the expansion of its services.

According to a release, SHUAA has pointed to the investment as supporting its strategy to increase its digital offerings, and enhance personal finance investment opportunities for consumers. This also aligns with Souqalmal's plans as it develops its personal financial management platform to include financial education and awareness.

Last year, the fintech company launched a corporate financial education initiative for employees through its MoneyDoctor program. The initiative helps consumers educate themselves, get instant pre-approval on credit products, track their spending, and grow their wealth. The program is now being offered to employees of UAE companies such as Majid Al Futtaim, Careem, and Emirates Catering.

"This acquisition gives Souqalmal what it needs to now bring the company to the next level," said Ambareen Musa, founder and CEO of Souqalmal. "We are really looking forward to what we can do together with a partner like SHUAA Capital. The drive to digitization of financial services is where the two companies really clicked, and with this marriage brings resources, talent, and the funds we need to really take on the under-penetrated financial education industry."

Addressing the investment, Fawad Tariq Khan, Managing Director and Head of Investment Banking at SHUAA Capital, said, "We are excited to join Souqalmal and Ambareen on their journey to becoming an interactive personal finance management platform. We believe that Souqalmal and its financial education arm have the ability to empower customers to understand, manage, and grow their finances in a better way. As Souqalmal strengthens its personal and wealth management offering, SHUAA will be well positioned to help the company access new pools of capital, products and more importantly knowledge."

Earlier in March 2022, SHUAA had listed a US$100 million initial public offering of the first of its three planned Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPAC) on Nasdaq New York. It listed 10 million units of Shuaa Partners Acquisition Corp I at a price of $10 per unit, with the SPAC set to start trading under the ticker symbol "SHUAU."

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