Abu Dhabi-based venture building and investment firm, Further Ventures (Further) and Mastercard, have solidified their collaboration to advance the development of local fintech capabilities across the UAE and the broader Middle East and North Africa region. The formal partnership was announced during the Further Network Summit, a key event within Abu Dhabi Finance Week.
Mastercard, a pioneer in cutting-edge payment solutions, platforms, and technologies, will contribute its expertise to accelerate the joint efforts. This strategic collaboration aligns with Mastercard’s commitment to bringing 50 million micro, small, and medium enterprises worldwide into the digital economy by 2025. In addition to sharing its technological prowess, Mastercard will make a significant investment in Further, bolstering the growth of the $200 million fund.
Further Ventures, backed by ADQ, is a forward-looking fund dedicated to supporting innovative startups from inception to exit. The firm collaborates with founders to incubate ventures focused on next-generation financial infrastructure. These ventures span various fintech domains, including wealth management, SME finance, financial inclusion, remittance, and payroll products. Further Ventures also champions Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs), encompassing virtual asset payments products, blockchain-based asset custody and security solutions, marketplaces, wallets, and other infrastructure tailored for the institutional market.
Faisal Al Hammadi, Managing Partner at Further, highlighted the significance of Mastercard’s investment, stating, “Mastercard’s investment represents a significant milestone in our efforts to connect ambitious founders to the tools, resources, and networks they need to build, launch, and run great companies that disrupt industries with their groundbreaking solutions.”
J.K. Khalil, Cluster General Manager, MENA East, Mastercard, expressed the company’s commitment to impactful and innovative opportunities, stating, “Our collaboration with Further Ventures will enable us to tap into emerging opportunities to promote inclusive and social need-driven innovation in Abu Dhabi and the UAE.”
The global startup ecosystem is witnessing the burgeoning influence of the Middle East and North Africa. According to a report by Magnitt, startups in the region raised an impressive $643 million in late-stage funding during the first half of 2023, outpacing global figures and underscoring the region’s growing role in shaping the future of innovation.