Interest rates are on the rise, and that adds to the visibility that price comparison portals such as Souqalmal will have with consumers. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: The UAE’s price comparison portal Souqalmal has brought in a new investor – the Dubai asset management company Shuaa, which will now have a majority stake. The latter’s investment will provide fresh capital to see Souqalmal through the next phase of its expansion plans spread over 24 months.

Souqalmal launched a corporate financial education programme targeted at employees last year through its ‘MoneyDoctor’ initiative. This programme is the first step in delivering its vision of allowing customers to educate themselves, get instant pre-approval on their credit products, track their spending and grow their wealth, all on one platform. (Interestingly, the last two years had seen multiple financial literacy solutions portals come into being here, as worries cropped up over money management following the COVID-19 strike.)

"We believe that Souqalmal and its financial education arm have the ability to empower customers to understand, manage and grow their finances in a better way," said Fawad Tariq Khan, Managing Director and Head of Investment Banking at Shuaa. "As Souqalmal strengthens its personal and wealth management offering, Shuaa will be well positioned to help the Company access new pools of capital, products and more importantly knowledge.”

On its part, Shuaa has been going full out on a high-profile investment agenda in recent months, picking up a stake in the Arabic music streaming platform Anghami and then seeing it go through a SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) deal. Anghami is now listed on Nasdaq New York.

No change at the top

Souqalmal, which was formed in 2012, will retain its senior management positions, including having Ambareen Musa, the founder, as CEO. Also, existing investors in the platform, Riyad Capital and the UK comparison website GoCompare, remain as shareholders.

"The drive to digitization of financial services is where the two companies really clicked and with this marriage brings resources, talent and the funds we need to really take on the under penetrated financial education industry," said Musa in a statement.

Financial literacy, health
UAE corporate entities such as Majid Al Futtaim group, Careem, Emirates Catering are offering Souqalmal's MoneyDoctor programme to their employees.

Financial issues are among the highest causes of stress and decreased productivity in the workplace, and two years on from the pandemic, financial health has taken on greater importance for employees and is an important factor for employee retention and wellness.