Saudi Fintech Takadao Raises $1.6 Million in Pre-Seed Funding

Published 7 months ago

Saudi Arabia-based fintech startup Takadao has secured $1.6 million in a pre-seed funding round led by legendary Silicon Valley investor Tim Draper. BIM, Core Vision Ventures, and Prince Sultan bin Fahad bin Salman Al Saud also participated in the round.

Shariah-Compliant Blockchain Services

Takadao, which was founded in Singapore by Sharene Lee and Morrad Irsane, offers two Shariah-compliant blockchain-based services: savings and loans, and cooperative life insurance. The fintech company has a growing community of over 10,000 members, expanding by five per cent on a weekly basis.

Targeting the Global Muslim Population

Takadao’s products are Shariah-compliant, designed to cater to the global Muslim population. The Muslim population is predicted to grow at approximately twice the rate of the non-Muslim population over the next two decades, according to the Pew Research Centre. By 2030, Muslims are expected to constitute 26.4% of the world’s total projected population. Consequently, there’s increasing demand for financial services that align with their cultural and religious values.

Extending the Reach of Islamic Finance

Islamic finance expanded 17% in 2021 to $4 trillion and is predicted to continue growing in double digits for the next five years. Takadao aims to extend the reach of Islamic finance by providing Shariah-compliant loans and insurance via the blockchain. This allows global access, even in countries with largely unbanked populations.

Sharene Lee, Co-founder and COO of Takadao, explained that the company’s mission is to build community-owned financial services, where the well-being of the users is prioritised over shareholder value. By vesting ownership with the end users, profits are then redistributed among them.

Takadao’s two primary products are Takaturn and Takasure. Takaturn is based on the ROSCA concept, while Takasure is a cooperative insurance product based on the Takaful model. Takasure is still in development, with a projected launch date of June 2024.

Investor Tim Draper’s First Investment in a Saudi Startup

This funding round marks Tim Draper’s first investment in a Saudi-based startup. Draper has a history of backing companies like Baidu, Skype, and Hotmail, all of which led to significant changes in consumer behaviour. Recently, he has supported Robinhood and Coinbase. Draper is also an outspoken advocate of Bitcoin and decentralised finance.

Morrad Irsane, CEO and Co-founder of Takadao, expressed excitement about Draper joining their team. He believes that the blockchain has given them an opportunity to build new financial infrastructures based on Islamic tenets that align with decentralisation and community ownership, something that can benefit the world, regardless of location or religion.