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Baraka, a Commission-free Investment App Raises $20 Million

Baraka App

Focused on enhancing financial stability to enable users build wealth and gain greater financial freedom, Middle East-based Baraka, has raised a $20 million Series A round.

Led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, the round received participation from Knollwood, a global investment firm. The fund will facilitate the startup’s expansion across Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries as well as Egypt.

It also plans to add new services over the next 12 months, including access to features such as dividend reinvestment plans and extended-hours trading.

Founded by CEO Feras Jalbout, an asset management veteran whose goal was to decentralise access to finance so as to reach the underserved, Baraka is dedicated to “putting investors behind the wheel and giving them full control of their future finances.” The Stock-trading app does this by giving them the tools and knowledge needed to make well-informed decisions as they embark on their investment journey.

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Baraka App

 

Before Baraka received license to launch its commission-free investment app, it served as a content platform which made use of newsletters and a podcast to educate retail investors in the Middle East, with more focus on the UAE, about stock investing and financial knowledge.

The startup’s launch was driven by the Covid-19 pandemic which rendered a lot of people financially handicapped, being among Y Combinator’s 2021 innovative startups, the backing it got, plus a $4 million seed round enabled the launch of its app.

Other startups backing the startup include FJ Labs, C5, GFC, VSQ and Raptor.

Baraka’s investors have access to over 5,000 U.S. stocks and 1,000 Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). Investors can start investing with as little as $1 (~3.79 dirhams) on the platform. The company makes revenues from a subscription service of about $10 (~37.99 dirhams) per month. With this, retail investors can access more financial data about companies and stock reports from baraka’s partner Refinitiv.

Baraka is exploring other revenue streams, one of which is to launch commission- or asset management-based products that will generate an annuity over time.

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Written by PH

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