Beehive has become the first peer to peer lending platform to set up offices in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and become officially authorised and regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).
The new regulation is a first for the region and could catalyse growth of the fintech industry. Not only will it ensure clear governance for fintech businesses but will also provide added protection and peace of mind for peer to peer retail investors. Its introduction is particularly timely as peer to peer lending, also known as lending based crowdfunding, is becoming an increasingly important route for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to access finance. Global peer to peer lending is forecast to reach more than USD $300 billion by 2020.
Beehive was launched in Dubai in 2014 by serial entrepreneur, Craig Moore, aided by Rick Pudner, former Group CEO of Emirates NBD.
Craig Moore, Beehive Founder and CEO, said:
“We’re delighted to be regulated by the DFSA. This regulation reinforces Beehive as one of the fintech leaders in the region and we feel this greatly expands the opportunity to further help SMEs and the wider economy.”
The UAE has been quick to embrace the fintech revolution occurring in the region and has championed innovative new business models which can help the economy. Regulation is another important step towards the UAE’s vision of becoming a fintech hub, attracting talented financial innovators and entrepreneurs. It also follows up the recent launch of the FinTech Hive accelerator programme in DIFC, which will pioneer financial technologies.
The new regulatory framework and the DIFC Authority’s focus on building a flourishing fintech ecosystem was a key motivation behind Beehive’s decision to set up offices in DIFC.
Salmaan Jaffery, Chief Business Development Officer for the DIFC Authority, commented: “I’d like to welcome Beehive to the DIFC. Their presence reinforces how the DIFC is leading the way in the region for innovation and developing the fintech sector. We are sure that Beehive will prosper here, thanks to our unrivalled ecosystem and world class regulation.”
Rick Pudner, Beehive Chairman, added:
“Peer to peer lending is going from strength to strength and has become a valid alternative for SME funding in the Middle East. This is an exciting time for fintech in the region and it’s great to see regulators getting behind innovative business models that can have a positive impact on the economy.”
Since launch, Beehive has registered almost 4500 investors, who have successfully funded in excess of AED 75 million across more than 150 SME funding requests.