Stock NYSE trading Wall street
If all approvals are in place, baraka will allow its members to pick up US stocks and ETFs through a commission-free model. Image Credit: AP

Dubai: A UAE-based platform to buy and trade in listed US stocks is testing investor mood ahead of a possible launch in the second quarter.

The fintech, baraka, introduced its waitlist and free stock giveaway features today (March 9). It is now awaiting regulatory approval ahead of the full launch.

The company’s pre-seed funding round raised $1 million. The funding round was led by Class 5 Global, with participation from FJ Labs, IMO Ventures, The Community Fund, VentureSouq and private investment from Dr. Abdulla Elyas, co-founder of Careem.

Stock trading apps are all the rage in the US, powering some of the sharpest rises in the market since the start of the year. The popularity of Robinhood and others of its kind have brought in new entrants into the marketplace, and effectively rewriting the rules of engagement.

baraka mobile app
The baraka mobile app will offer access to more than 4,000 listed securities in the US. Image Credit: Supplied

baraka plans to target millennials for its commission-free portal. “Young investors in the Middle East are becoming more conscious about the companies and causes they want to support,” said Feras Jalbout, founder and CEO.” Whether it’s backing organisations that prioritise diversity and inclusion, seeking sustainable investment options, or just helping their favourite brands to grow, millennials want a say in where their money is going.

“So, we created a platform that would allow them to do that, while addressing their two biggest challenges – limited access to US listed stocks, and a lack of understanding around how they work.”

A defined portfolio

The platform will give members access to more than 4,000 US listed securities, including ETFs (exchange traded funds) and fractional shares. Users will gain free access to the mobile trading app, as well as the option of a paid tier offering stock analysis, with no minimum investment requirements.

Feras Jalbout, founder and CEO at baraka
Feras Jalbout, founder and CEO at baraka: “The retail investor revolution is no longer on the horizon – it’s already begun..." Image Credit: Supplied