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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

ADGM selects 11 fintech start-ups for second incubation round

'RegLab' programme attracts double the previous number of applicants 

ADGM's FinTech Abu Dhabi 2017 summits concludes on Monday. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National
ADGM's FinTech Abu Dhabi 2017 summits concludes on Monday. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National

Fintech start-ups specialising in artificial intelligence, digital payments and robo-advisory were among 11 local and international companies selected by Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) on Sunday for the second round of its RegLab incubation programme.

The free zone selected the companies from 22 applicants for the programme, double the number that applied for the first round last year.

“The overwhelmingly positive response we’ve had from the global fintech industry in the first year of the RegLab programme is extremely encouraging,” said Richard Teng, chief executive of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of ADGM.

“We are already seeing some great results from the first cohort, and are looking forward to seeing results from the second, which include fascinating projects such as an initial coin offerings and blockchain-enabled payments, settlements and RegTech solutions, among others.

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“The quality of the firms that applied from Europe, Asia and closer to home has been impressive, and speaks volume of the strength and attractiveness of ADGM.”

The 11 successful companies – CreditScript, Chynge, Equichain, Halalah, NewBridge, Nymcard, Pyppl, Remitr, Sifr, Yes Money and OKLink – join five others that were chosen to participate in the programme in May of this year.

“The RegLab team has been great,” said Ibrahim Kamalmaz, founder of Titanium Escrow, one of the companies that was admitted earlier this year.

“[They’ve been] very supportive and assisted us in getting the right connections. By connecting us with key decision makers at local banks and institutions they have helped us streamline our processes.”

The winners were announced on Sunday at FinTech Abu Dhabi 2017, a two-day summit hosted by ADGM, concluding on Monday, under the patronage of Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed, vice chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.

Speakers at the summit include Saeed Amidi, chief executive of Silicon Valley venture capital fund Plug and Play, Ambareen Musa, the founder of price comparison site Souqalmal.com, and Fadi Ghandour, the executive chairman of Dubai venture capital firm Wamda Capital.

The free zone has focused on fintech since opening its doors for business in late 2015, signing multiple collaboration agreements with local and international financial institutions and government entities. On Saturday it announced a partnership with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank aimed at promoting fintech.

At the heart of ADGM’s efforts to encourage fintech start-ups to the capital are its RegLab incubator programme for fintech entrepreneurs and the FinTech Abu Dhabi Innovation Challenge for start-ups, run in conjunction with KPMG.

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