Robust ecosystem in Middle East boosts entrepreneurial spirit

Klub seeks to close funding gap for small businesses

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Somshankar Bandyopadhyay

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Anurakt Jain, co-founder and CEO at Klub,
Anurakt Jain, co-founder and CEO at Klub,

Published: Tue 6 Feb 2024, 7:43 PM

The Middle East’s embrace of AI and best-in-class technologies from the rest of the world, fuelled by government support, is fostering collaboration between established institutions and startups, a senior official said. “With a robust ecosystem and an entrepreneurial spirit, the UAE and the Middle East stand as beacons for innovation and dynamic business ventures,” Anurakt Jain, co-founder and CEO at Klub, told Khaleej Times in an interview, after the company gained a Category 3C permission to begin operations from the Abu Dhabi Global Market.

Excerpts:


As a fintech company, where do you see your opportunity to make an impact in this market?

More than 60 per cent of the region’s GDP is driven by startups and SMEs, yet there is a severe lack of financing solutions for them. Klub’s vision is to provide financial products to SMEs and startups that can help them grow. We have facilitated growth for over 600 brands in 1600+ investments, and we aim to bring the same vision and a larger impact to the Middle East market.


The UAE’s startup ecosystem is currently ranked 2nd in the Middle East and it aims to increase the number of small and medium businesses to 1 million by the end of 2030. This gives us a huge market to tap into. We are the first Revenue Based Financing platform of its scale to have gotten the regulatory approval for a credit fund licence to operate to solve this financing gap.

What are the differences between the Middle East and other markets you operate in?

While both the Middle East and India boast vibrant startup ecosystems, the distinctions lie in the market dynamics. The Middle East, particularly the UAE, offers a streamlined regulatory environment, robust infrastructure, and significant government backing, fostering a conducive atmosphere for growth. In contrast, India, with its vast market and diverse talent pool, presents unique scalability opportunities.

Navigating both these distinct landscapes requires a tailored data-driven technological approach. Klub aims to leverage the Middle East’s supportive ecosystem and India’s scale potential to drive strategic expansion and sustainable success.

What are your next plans?

We are expanding into partnering with banks and commerce enablers in the Middle East region to provide holistic financially innovative products to the startups and SMEs in the region. We are also looking at expanding into the other countries in the MENA region in the latter half of 2024.


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