MUSCAT: The Central Bank of Oman and Omantel, the leading provider of integrated telecommunication services in the Sultanate of Oman, have joined hands to deliver a six-month accelerator programme dedicated to nurturing and empowering fintech start-ups.
The accelerator programme seeks to support innovative fintech start-ups through the challenges of the highly competitive fintech industry through mentorship, training, networking, and fundraising support.
The programme targets promising, high-potential local start-ups with fintech solutions in debt-based crowdfunding, buy now pay later, microfinancing and ROSCA system, a rotating savings and association system.
The five start-ups selected for the accelerator are Al-Jumaeiah, an application that helps create, manage and organise different jamaeiahs (groups) on a single platform; Hal Capital, a Shariah-compliant embedded fintech offering alternative financing products and services to SMEs and individuals; TasHeel Financial Solutions that provides financial ease to clients through a Buy Now Pay Later solution; Wadiaa, an equity-based crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending solution for start-ups and SMEs; and Zumr Fintech which provides micro financing opportunities by encouraging the habit of saving.
HH Sayyida Ghada al Said, Senior Manager, Omantel Innovation Labs, said “It has been a pleasure to work with the Central Bank of Oman to create a valuable fintech program for the local start-up ecosystem that combines the expertise of Omantel and the Central Bank of Oman. The partnership leverages our shared vision and strengths to contribute to the growth of fintech start-ups in the country and we look forward to doing our part in accelerating these promising start-ups.”
Ghada al Kharusi, Acting Manager at the Innovation Department, Central Bank of Oman, said, “Fintech is vital to the future of the Sultanate of Oman's financial sector, and we are committed to supporting fintech start-ups in the country. We are delighted to be working with Omantel on this program that we believe will be a catalyst for accelerating fintech start-ups in Oman.”
In addition to receiving free desk space at the Omantel Innovation Labs, a 1,100 sqm facility in the heart of the Omantel Headquarters at Madinat Al Irfan, selected start-ups will also gain access to a network of over 100,000 investors, corporates and mentors and will be eligible for perks worth over $250,000 in cloud computing, legal services, accounting and other areas.