Fintech is the new oil – interview with Next Money’s Aaron Oliver on the MENA opportunity

This week I’m coming to you from the third edition of Next Money Fintech Finals. The two days in Hong Kong have seen a flurry of fintech activity, with speakers flying in from all over the world to network, cut deals and learn what’s new in the APAC region.

One of the event highlights is the series of talks on what’s happening in geographical regions within APAC or adjacent. Today I was lucky enough to grab an interview with Aaron Oliver, who spearheads the Next Money community in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region. While coming a little late to the fintech party, there is no doubt the countries in the MENA region are getting serious about investing and developing fintech. And there are no shortage of opportunities in this market, which still has a heavy reliance on cash.

I’d encourage you to listen to the interview to learn more, however here are a few key stats worth mulling over:

  • 5/10 fintech startups in the region are looking towards North Africa (and Africa more broadly) to continue expanding their product. SME P2P lender Beehive is one of these, and they pitched yesterday at the event. For the record, SME lending in the region is 50% below the global average, so plenty of room for growth here.
  • $100M has been pumped into fintech investment so far over the past 10 years. The J curve is about to hit though, with the same amount expected to be added in the next two years alone.

Click here to listen to my interview with Aaron.

Daily Fintech Advisers provides strategic consulting to organizations with business and investment interests in Fintech. Jessica Ellerm is a thought leader specializing in Small Business and the Gig Economy.

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