The world’s first Shariah-compliant Robo Advisor raises more than $8m in funding at a $100mm valuation to accelerate expansion into global markets
New York, USA, October 24, 2018 – Wahed Invest (“Wahed”), a New York-headquartered Robo Advisor, has raised an additional $8mm this year, at a $100mm valuation, to accelerate development of a global savings and investing solution. The digital investment company received this funding from existing investors including Boston-based Cue Ball Capital, and BECO Capital, a Middle Eastern VC. This brings its total funding to over $15 million since 2015.
Wahed revolutionized the industry with the first-ever halal digital investment advisor, allowing savers from all income brackets to invest in a globally diversified portfolio of ethically responsible stocks, Sukuk (Islamic bonds) and gold with as little as $100. Wahed became the largest Islamic Investment Advisor in the USA, by the number of clients, in just one year after launch.
According to Founder and CEO Junaid Wahedna, “After our traction in the US and UK, we are actively looking to expand internationally to offer our product to the world. Wahed aspires to lead innovation in the growing Islamic Finance sector and provide a non-lending based savings solution to Muslims worldwide”
The platform will offer an efficient solution to the millions of practising Muslims who do not wish to custody their money with traditional banks. Currently, existing Islamic banks still function as lending institutions by using Shariah-compliant lending structures. Wahedna said, “Our survey results show that 84% of respondents do not trust existing Islamic Banks as being truly Islamic. We want to offer a pure investment based savings solution that never touches on any lending components”.
Amir Farha, Managing Partner at BECO Capital said, “Junaid and his team at Wahed have continued to execute and build the global coverage of their offering in an extraordinary manner, giving access to a significant market that needs this service. The company is fast outpacing traditional incumbents and driving innovation in a sector that lags behind. We are very bullish on the vision and strategy that Wahed is pursuing both globally and in the MENA region”
There are over 1.5 billion Muslims in the world with a very large portion entering into the middle class in need of a savings solution. Wahed recently launched in the UK. “Our UK product, which we launched in August, saw over 1,000 registered users in the first month, which was more than twice the rate of adoption that we saw in the US,” said Jad Kobeissi, Head of Marketing. As a next priority, Wahed plans on launching in the GCC and ASEAN markets. Muslim consumers here are a largely young and rapidly growing demographic. Wahedna adds, “Our aim is to ensure that everyone around the world has access to Shariah-compliant savings and investment platform, and this funding brings us one step closer to that goal.”
In order to ensure all products are Halal and in accordance with Islamic principles, Wahed has a full-time Ethical Review Board. All securities undergo a rigorous screening process in which Wahed’s investment management partners and ethical scholars work together to tailor portfolios to provide attractive investment returns. This means the following are screened: excess debt, tobacco, alcohol, firearms, gambling, adult entertainment, impure food stock and usurious institutions.