On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia awarded its first two financial technology (Fintech) licenses to two Riyadh-based startups namely Scopeer and Manafa Capital. This move hopes to boost startup funding, investment services and create more jobs in the kingdom.
Saudi’s securities regulator Capital Market Authority (CMA) awarded the licenses on Tuesday as part of the kingdom’s plan to develop a fintech sector and reduce its reliance on oil.
The said companies will operate technology platforms that will be used by individual investors to supply small and medium-sized businesses, in exchange for shares in those firms.
According to the CMA. They will be taking into consideration other applications for fintech licenses later in the year.
In February, the Saudi central bank signed a deal with Ripple, a US-based startup, to help banks in the kingdom settle payments with the use of the blockchain software.