Abu Dhabi, UAE; 14 December 2023: Mastercard and Further Ventures (Further), a leading venture building and investment firm based in Abu Dhabi, announced a partnership to accelerate the development of local fintech capabilities in the UAE and the wider MENA region. The signing took place on the sidelines of the Further Network Summit, part of Abu Dhabi Finance Week.

Mastercard will bring its cutting-edge payment solutions, platforms and technologies to the shared efforts, helping to deliver on a pledge to bring 50 million micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) worldwide into the digital economy by 2025. Additionally, the company will make an investment in Further to support the fund’s growth.

Further Ventures is a $200 million fund, backed by ADQ, to support innovative startups from ideation to exit. The company partners with founders to incubate ventures developing next generation financial infrastructure. These ventures include fintechs that cover wealth management, SME finance, financial inclusion, remittance, and payroll products; as well as, VASPs (virtual asset service providers) , which include virtual asset payments products, blockchain-based asset custody and security solutions, marketplaces, wallets, and other infrastructure aimed at the institutional market.

At Mastercard, we are committed to impactful and innovative opportunities that will further support the markets we serve. 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,” said J.K. Khalil, Cluster General Manager, MENA East, Mastercard.

“At Further Ventures, we continuously explore new partnership opportunities to accelerate the growth of our ventures. 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,” said Faisal Al Hammadi, Managing Partner, Further.

The role of the Middle East and North Africa in the global startup ecosystem is growing. According to an industry report by data platform Magnitt, startups in the region raised $643 million in late-stage funding during the first half of 2023, significantly outpacing global figures.