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The Capital Market Authority of Saudi Arabia has approved fintech licenses for Manafa Capital and Scopeer to provide crowdfunding investment services on a trial basis, Reuters reported. This would mean that any investors could use the platforms to fund not only small enterprises but also mid-sized companies. In return, investors will get shares of such companies.

Interestingly, the central bank of Saudi Arabia is also backing FinTech. This was quite evident when the banking regulator struck an agreement with Ripple in February. The deal between the two enables commercial banks to settle payments with the help of blockchain software in the country.

Stake in Geidea

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The FinTech space has been quite hot. An Abu Dhabi-based private equity venture, Gulf Capital, acquired a stake in Geidea in a transaction worth approximately $267 million or more than one billion riyals. Geidea is one of the popular solutions providers of electronic payment in the kingdom. The country has been, consistently, moving towards the FinTech sector as part of the so-called Saudi Vision 2030 plan.

Recently, the municipality of Riyadh selected tech company International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) as a tactical partner for integration of blockchain technology. The American firm will work with the municipality’s technology partner, Elm Company, to create a strategy for executing government services, as well as, transactions with blockchain.

Serve Customers Digitally

As reported by ITP, blockchain development is meant to serve customers digitally. This is required to support the vision of 2030’s transformational objectives of the country.

IBM, Elm and the municipality of Riyadh would join hands to organize workshops to identify services that could not only be transformed but also improved upon with blockchain. Once the identification process is done, IBM will design the solution at the municipality level. On its part, Elm will take care of the next stage to merge the technology with government services.

IBM Saudi Arabia general manager Tarek Zarg EI Aioun said:

“Through the collaboration between Riyadh Municipality, Elm and IBM, we will be able to help the Saudi government reimagine and transform the way in which services are provided to citizens, residents, businesses, and visitors. It is a strategic step towards supporting the objectives of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.”

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