Dubai: Equity crowd funding platform, Eureeca, will add products and enter new markets now that it has received regulatory approval from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Chris Thomas, co-founder and chief executive, announcing the regulatory approval by the FCA, which regulates retail and wholesale financial services firms, said by phone on Monday that it was a “validation” for the company.

Eureeca, set up in Dubai around 15 months ago, is a crowdfunding site where investors can invest in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in exchange for equity in the company.

Thomas said the FCA approval “allows our business to expand into the UK and Europe” and protect local Middle East-based clients under UK regulation.

“It’s also a catalyst for a lot of new products we’re looking to launch but we needed to wait for regulator approval for,” he added.

Eureeca customers have been asking new products including the option for someone else to hold onto their equity shares on their behalf and access to a fund to diversify investments rather than individually invest each time, Thomas said.

Eureeca expects its business “to increase significantly over the next year” following the FCA announcement and plans to introduce new products and enter new markets in the next six months. Thomas declined to reveal specific details.

“Watch this space,” he said.

The Middle East and North Africa (Mena) will continue to be a core market, Thomas said. Eureeca funds SMEs in the UAE and Jordan, while Thomas said he was very bullish on Egypt. He also said the company is looking at Asia and Latin America.