DIFC's comprehensive fintech and innovation proposition has created unparalleled opportunities for success for startups, global players and unicorns. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Fintech and innovation firms registered with the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) secured more than Dh2 billion of funding in the first nine months of 2022, a report said.

According to the DIFC FinTech Hive’s 2022 FinTech Report, funding activity for fintech nearly doubled in 2021 and startups in MENA raised $998 million in 2021, a 78 per cent increase from 2020. Amongst that number are graduating start-ups from this year’s DIFC FinTech Hive programme cohort.

The first and largest fintech accelerator programme in the region has now attracted more than 3,000 applications from all over the world, which have been whittled down to 200 participants, based on their ideas and ability to generate revenue. The programme has delivered more than 100 proof of concepts with the support of over 65 partners.

Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority, said: “In recent years, DIFC has remained at the forefront of innovation, attracting more than 600 start-ups, growth stage companies and unicorns to Dubai. These businesses are now making a sizeable contribution to our economy. To continue building momentum, it is the right time for us to strengthen our offerings by bringing more innovation propositions together under a new leader.”

Reflecting the continued importance of the fintech and innovation sector, DIFC has appointed Mohammad AlBlooshi as the Vice President and Head of DIFC Innovation Hub. Mohammad, a UAE national who has gained extensive experience at the centre, will provide leadership for the DIFC Innovation Hub, which will incorporate FinTech Hive, Venture Studio Launchpad, Dubai FinTech Summit and new initiatives that will launch in 2023.

“I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to own and develop one of DIFC’s strategic growth priorities. At DIFC, we are committed to helping fintech and innovation companies based in the centre. We will continue to develop initiatives that will see us welcoming an influx of innovation and talent into our region.”