5 MENA FinTech Accelerators to Know About

5 MENA FinTech Accelerators to Know About

FinTech, more than many other sector, is especially receptive to the input of startup accelerator programs.

Because the vast majority of FinTech startups these days are launching digital products, their research and development needs are lightweight compared to companies developing physical products.

What’s more, the global FinTech ecosystem has evolved to prioritize rapid scalability. With the right partnerships and infrastructure, startups that might once have taken years to develop an idea into a market-ready product can now do so in mere months.

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is home to several world-leading startup accelerators, including many that are specifically focused on supporting the FinTech sector. With many of MENA’s most successful FinTechs having graduated from one of these schemes, PYMNTS takes a look at five of the most prevalent players in the region’s FinTech acceleration drive.


No list of top MENA FinTech accelerators would be complete without mentioning Hub71.

Calling itself “Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem,” Hub71 isn’t exclusive to FinTechs. But a look through the list of startups that have passed through its halls reveals some of the region’s most exciting FinTechs among its alumni.

Read more: Pyypl CEO Makes Case for Blockchain When Sending Cross-Border Payments

From open banking platforms to innovative payment solutions like DoPay and Pyypl, the companies graduating from Hub71’s three accelerator programs are contributing to the booming FinTech ecosystem, not just in the United Arab Emirates, but across the MENA region.

See more: UK-based dopay Makes Payroll Cashless for Workers in Egypt

DIFC FinTech Hive

Proving that Abu Dhabi isn’t the UAE.’s only FinTech hub, the DIFC FinTech Hive, located in the Dubai International Finance Center (DIFC), is at the forefront of FinTech innovation globally, attracting startups from around the world.

In addition to an annual FinTech accelerator program, the DIFC FinTech Hive organizes specialized initiatives, including the AccelerateHer mentorship program for women working in the sector.

The accelerator announced this month a collaboration with government-owned bank Emirates NDB, which has invited metaverse startups to join an initiative exploring the opportunities virtual environments present for the banking sector.

Read more: EU, MENA FIs Embrace, Bank on the Metaverse

FinTech Accelerator by FinTech Saudi

Launched by the Saudi Central Bank in partnership with the Capital Market Authority in 2018, FinTech Saudi is intended to act as a catalyst for the development of the FinTech industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

Alongside education and investment initiatives, FinTech Saudi runs a program to help companies accelerate their growth through support services, workshops, coaching and mentorship sessions.

Capitalizing on the active involvement of Saudi Arabia’s financial regulators, the FinTech Saudi accelerator seems to have proven especially useful for businesses navigating the regulatory environment in the country.

The government-backed accelerator program will also be critical to the KSA meeting the goals outlined in the Ministry of Finance’s FinTech Strategy Implementation Plan launched in June, one of which will require increasing the number of FinTech companies operating in the country from 82 to 230 by 2025.

See more: How Experimentation Is Driving Innovation in the KSA

OTF Wadi

The Oman Technology Fund (OTF) is a state-backed venture capital investment vehicle designed to support the country’s tech ecosystem.

On its website, the OTF states that its objective is to put Oman “firmly on the map of knowledge leaders in the Middle East. The OTF will effectively work on attracting these types of promising projects to launch their operations in Oman to enhance the knowledge-based economy, and to develop the ICT sector in general.”

Read more: Still in Its Infancy, Oman FinTech Hub Shows Huge Potential for Growth

The OTF divides its investment activities into three stages. These include a three-month, pre-seed program OTF Techween and the OTF Wadi Accelerator, which supports cohorts of 10 startups at a time to grow and scale with investments of up to $100,000 in addition to providing training and mentorship.

For more developed ventures, OTF Jasoor Ventures invests up to $3 million in tech companies with a solid business model.


Multipronged entrepreneurship initiative and pan-MENA project Flat6Labs focuses on supporting seed-stage startups through its various funds and accelerators, including the Jordan Seed Fund, Lebanon Seed Fund and Tunisia-based Anava Seed Fund.

Although its focus isn’t solely on FinTech, the accelerator programs Flat6Labs organizes across its locations in Cairo, Jeddah, Abu Dhabi, Beirut, Tunis, Bahrain and Amman have been key to attracting foreign investment to MENA’s FinTech ecosystem from partners like the International Finance Corporation.

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