DIFC's financial technology support programme is reeling in the applications. There were more than 600 submissions this year against 400 odd in 2019. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: More than 600 startups applied this year for the DIFC FinTech Hive, the financial technology accelerator programme. This bests the 425 applications received in 2019.

Specialisms include fintech, insurtech, regtech and Islamic fintech. Key technologies within the submissions include contactless payments, digital identification, corporate solutions, including treasury management, credit-underwriting automation, data management and analytics.

Of these, 30 per cent of applications were from UAE based firms, and 46 per cent came from the region and 24 per cent were received from overseas firms.

Across the applications, 45 per cent were start-ups in the ‘minimum viable product’ stage. These startups are attracted by the FinTech Hive’s framework that will help them “validate their growth potential and enable them to prove value hypotheses early on in the product development lifecycle”, according to a statement.

Almost two thirds of applications were from start-ups in the pre-seed stage, whilst almost a third were in the seed stage.

The DIFC FinTech Hive was launched in January 2017. More than 50 per cent of fintech businesses in the Middle East and North Africa now operate from DIFC. The first-half of 2020 saw it triple in size with the opening of a larger space in Gate Avenue supporting start-ups, scale-ups and entrepreneurs.