The Qatar FinTech Hub (QFTH) aims to predominantly enable Qatar's vision and national initiatives to become a fintech-friendly market and a vibrant hub, which develops local talents and attracts global fintechs, an official of Qatar Development Bank (QDB) has said.
Co-founded by QDB and established to support the growth of Qatar’s fintech industry, QFTH focuses on talent acquisition from established fintech markets like Singapore, Malaysia, and the UK, as well as importing fintechs for local acceleration in Qatar and exporting them to achieve global expansion, said QDB executive director of Advisory and Incubation Ibrahim al-Mannai.
“We have footprint in a number of counties across the globe, including the US, the UK, Sweden, Holland, Lithuania, Turkey, Lebanon, India, Malaysia, Australia, Singapore, and Nigeria.
“QFTH also aims to leverage fintech to deliver desired outcomes, including 2022 FIFA World Cup, TASMU, and support economic diversification in line with Qatar National Vision 2030,” al-Mannai told Gulf Times in a statement.
Al-Mannai said, “Part of our mission is to maintain global competitiveness of the Qatari financial services industry by leveraging fintech to transform the national financial services sector, and enabling local financial institutions to compete at the global level.”
He said QFTH collaborates with global financial centres to build solutions for social and financial challenges that impact local and global communities by leveraging fintechs to support the digital transformation of financial institutions, and to strengthen the stability of the local financial system, with a focus on regulatory initiatives.
Asked to elaborate on QFTH’s incubator and accelerator programmes, and the benefits for its participants, al-Mannai said QFTH is dedicated to offer “Qatar’s first-ever specialised incubator and accelerator programmes,” which target entrepreneurs with innovative and cutting-edge fintech ideas.
He said successful fintechs get the opportunity to collaborate with as many as 16 local financial institutions and regulators, and a range of business development opportunities on a global scale in over 10 countries, in addition to access to global mentors from 12 countries.
“QFTH collaborates with local and international institutions, including technology and service providers, payment networks, academic institutions, and regulators, in addition to partnering with other fintech hubs from Singapore, the UK, Turkey, Australia, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, and Sweden, to offer world-class expertise to participating fintechs,” al-Mannai said.
According to al-Mannai, QFTH conducted over 300 business development sessions with 15 financial institutions with multiple collaboration discussions in the final stages and a series of fintech bootcamps and masterclasses to support fintechs in their business journey.
“Upon the completion of the programmes, eligible participants are referred to Qatar Central Box's Sandbox where they receive support on licensing needs in Qatar, in addition to benefiting from a fee waiver on company registration.
“QFTH offers fintechs access to capital and in-kind support of up to $250,000 and provide extensive support, as well as providing special fintech visas, the ease of doing business in Qatar, and offering them 100% foreign ownership on their businesses,” al-Mannai stressed.