Islamic Finance

Wahed Invest acquires UK fintech Niyah, enters Islamic challenger bank race

Wahed Invest has acquired UK fintech Niyah for an undisclosed amount.

The acquisition signals “a leap forward” in Wahed’s product expansion plans and its ambition to become the leading “one-stop-shop” for Shariah-compliant financial products and services, the U.S.-based Islamic fintech company said on Thursday (Dec 17).

Niyah launched an alpha release of its banking app, catered to the Muslim community, earlier this year.

“Wahed’s acquisition of Niyah will honour the firm’s commitment to service the UK market by offering customers access to interest-free financial products including digital bank accounts, debit cards and investments through an user-friendly mobile app,” said Wahed Inc.

The firm told Salaam Gateway in May its plans include a mobile app for the UK as part of tis Islamic robo-advisory platform and offering a range of takaful products before creating an Islamic digital banking institution.

With Niyah, it appears the first-mover Islamic robo-advisor has opted to buy instead of build from scratch its Islamic digital bank.

“Once the digital bank is successfully launched in the UK, Wahed plans to expand its banking reach to other parts of the world, including North America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East,” Wahed Inc said on Thursday.

Wahed’s acquisition of Niyah comes after the U.S.-based fintech raised $25 million in a funding round in June led by Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures, the capital arm of Saudi Aramco. It said then that the funds will be used to drive the company’s global expansion.

The Islamic fintech said it has over 100,000 customers including in its key markets U.S., UK, and Malaysia. Niyah will bring another channel to Wahed’s fast growing customer base, it said.


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