Shuaa Capital, a leading asset management and investment banking platform in the region, has acquired a controlling stake in Souqalmal, a UAE-based fintech,
The Dubai Financial Market-listed Shuaa said its investment would provide growth capital, allowing Souqalmal to execute on an ambitious growth plan over the next 24 months. However, the financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Ambareen Musa, founder, and CEO of Souqalmal, will continue to lead the business and oversee the expansion of its services. Shuaa joins existing strategic investors Riyad Capital and UK comparison website GoCompare, which will remain shareholders in Souqalmal, the Dubai company said.
Fawad Tariq Khan, managing director and head of Investment Banking at Shuaa Capital, said Shuaa would be well-positioned to help Souqalmal access new pools of capital, products, and more importantly knowledge as it strengthens its personal and wealth management offering.
“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,” Khan said.
The latest investment supports Shuaa’s strategy to increase its digital offerings and enhance personal finance and investment opportunities for the consumer. “At the same time, this vision is aligned with Souqalmal’s future growth, as the company looks to strengthen its offering and develop a personal financial management platform that will include financial education and awareness.”
Musa said the acquisition gives Souqalmal what it needs to bring the company to the next level.
“We are really looking forward to what we can do together with a partner like Shuaa Capital. The drive to digitisation 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.”
In 2021, Shuaa achieved a net profit of Dh40 million, down 68 per cent year on year from Dh125 million in 2020. The result included one-off charges of net Dh189 million mainly relating to valuation impairments following the decision to accelerate the restructuring of a legacy, illiquid investment portfolio.
Souqalmal launched the first corporate financial education programme for employees last year through its MoneyDoctor Program, the first of its kind in the region, and is recognized as the leading authority in the industry when it comes to representing the voice of the customer with financial institutions.
MoneyDoctor Program is the first step in delivering its vision of allowing customers to educate themselves, get instant pre-approval on their credit products, track their spending and grow their wealth, all on one platform.
Companies such as MAF, Careem, Emirates Catering are now all offering the MoneyDoctor Program to their employees making sure that financial health is a big part of employee wellness.
Financial issues are among the highest causes of stress and decreased productivity in the workplace, and as we emerge from the last two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, financial health has taken on greater importance for employees and is an important factor for CEO’s to consider in terms of employee retention and wellness.
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