Rise has raised $1.4 million in an investment round led by the Middle East Venture Partners. In participation with Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), Fintech Fund, 500 Startups, Saudi’s Khwarizmi Ventures, and Phoenician Funds.
The fintech startup’s aim is to make essential financial services available to all. The investment will be used to expand its team, further develop the suite of its financial products and services. Additionally, Rise will expand its presence to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Padmini Gupta, a former World Economic Forum Global Leadership Fellow and her husband Milind Singh, a serial entrepreneur founded Rise in 2016. The startup provides banking and financial services, such as financial identification, credit, insurance and investments. They target the low-income unbanked and underbanked migrants working in the UAE. Gupta founded Rise because she was like the financial sector was failing to help a large portion of society.
Rise in partnership with United Arab Bank offers no minimum balance bank accounts to allow low-income workers to open bank accounts. It has also partnered with UAE Exchange to send money back to customers’ home countries too. Additionally, the startup offers consumer loans in both UAE and migrant home countries and some insurance solutions.
Rise plans to bring the 25 million migrant workers in the GCC under its financial services network, starting with Bahrain and Saudi. The startup has said that it is growing over 50% month-on-month. It claims brought over $125 million of annualized income into the financial services sector.
The startup has three revenue sources; end-user subscription fee based on freemium model, revenue share with providers on the platform, and underwriting financial risk on new products for low-income migrants.
Prior to this investment, the startup received funding from London-based hedge fund Astra Amco.
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