Mubadala Invests in Robo-Advisor Sarwa Amid Retail Trading Boom

Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Co. led a funding round at Sarwa as the robo advisor eyes further growth amid a global surge in retail trading.

Sarwa raised $15 million in the latest round from investors including Kuwait Projects Co. and Shorooq Partners. The Abu Dhabi-based company has so far raised $25 million in total.

The funding will allow Sarwa to grow its team and build more solutions, co-founder Nadine Mezher said in an interview, adding that the company plans to establish a presence across the Gulf and North Africa. The firm received an experimental permit from Saudi Arabia’s market regulator in January, and is working on the requirements to start operating in the kingdom.

Founded in 2017, Sarwa has more than 40,000 registered users. The company offers investors access to low-cost index funds based on their risk tolerance, as well as chance to add exposure to cryptocurrencies, through the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust. It’s also set to start a zero-commission trading service.

Sarwa competes with platforms including Etoro and Capital.com that have seen a surge in retail trading since the coronavirus pandemic began. Being based in the United Arab Emirates and having raised funds from the likes of Mubadala, Abu Dhabi’s $243 billion sovereign wealth fund, gives Sarwa an edge over competitors, Mezher said.

“In just three years, the company has nearly doubled its client funds and expanded its product base to include a wider range of securities and asset classes, reflecting the potential for further exponential growth,” said Ibrahim Ajami, head of Ventures and Growth at Mubadala.

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