Rapyd brings the future of fintech to Dubai: First Israeli company on the road to be regulated in the UAE

  • Expansion into UAE marks milestone moment in Rapyd’s global success story
  • Leading where others follow: Rapyd becomes the first Israeli money services company to receive an in-principle approval for a financial license from the DIFC regulator, Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), paving the way for other businesses to move into the UAE; DFSA was the first to introduce the region’s most comprehensive money services regime
  • The office opening is planned to create more than 120 jobs within the next 18 months

Dubai, UAE: Rapyd, a global FinTech-as-a-Service company, today announced a major milestone in the company’s history by opening its doors to its new Dubai office as it seeks to become the first Israeli company to be regulated in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Rapyd has been registered at Dubai International Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial centre in the Middle East Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. Additionally, Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the independent regulator of financial services conducted in or from the DIFC, has granted an In-Principle Approval (IPA) to Rapyd under its money services regime. Rapyd expects to be fully authorised to conduct financial services once it fulfils the DFSA’s In-Principle requirements.

The ground-breaking office opening in Dubai is the latest activity from Rapyd – hot on the heels of global acquisitions and a large Series E fundraising of $300m – which further bolsters the business’ reputation as a pioneer in not only the FinTech industry, but also technology as a whole.  Rapyd’s investment in the UAE demonstrates confidence in its ability to attract top global talent to Dubai and to establish operations to tap into the regional markets.

Rapyd will bring the future of FinTech to Dubai by providing local merchants with cutting-edge solutions to send, receive and simplify payments in the region and anywhere worldwide. The game-changing move will empower merchants to enhance their cross-border payment capabilities and grow their businesses globally. This market entry will enable Rapyd to reinforce its mission to enable businesses, of any size, to make local payments anywhere in the world.

Rapyd aims for Dubai to become a development hub to support its vast expansion and growth needs. Rapyd officially opened the doors to its Dubai office located in the heart of the Dubai International Financial Centre on May 11, 2022. It has ambitious plans to hire 120 employees in Dubai across the R&D, product, operations and HR departments within the next 18 months.

The UAE aims to become home to 20 unicorns–tech companies worth $1 billion or more by 2031, according to the UAE Entrepreneurial Nation initiative. Marking the next step in Rapyd’s unparalleled global expansion as a decacorn, this move further reiterates Rapyd’s commitment to the region as it opens its new development hub in Dubai to support the business’ vast expansion across the entire UAE and beyond.

Arik Shiltman, CEO of Rapyd, said: “Rapyd is revolutionising how a FinTech company should operate by taking the unprecedented step to becoming the first Israeli company on the road to becoming regulated by the DFSA, allowing the company to establish strong roots in Dubai and grow throughout the UAE.”

“As the FinTech sector continues to evolve, Rapyd is boldly rewriting the script on what it means to be a FinTech company. By establishing Dubai as a strategic development hub, we’re showcasing the boundless opportunities for Rapyd as we continue to lead and innovate the industry across the UAE and beyond.”

The company celebrated the landmark office opening on May 11 this year alongside key decision makers and government officials within Dubai.

Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority commented: “Dubai and DIFC continue to cement their position as one of the world’s top hubs for technology and innovation firms by offering the most comprehensive proposition that helps start-ups, global players and unicorns access the fast-growing markets of the MEASA region. We are delighted that Rapyd, the first Israeli firm to be regulated in the UAE, has chosen DIFC as its strategic development hub.”

“DIFC’s independent regulator, the DFSA was the first in the region to introduce a comprehensive payment services regime. We are certain that the regime will enable Rapyd and other payment firms to achieve their international expansion aspirations and grow faster than the market,” he added.

Rapyd’s Dubai office is located in the ICD Brookfield Place within the heart of the DIFC and is actively recruiting to fill roles across the entire organisation. The company has recently launched one of the largest advertising campaigns the region has ever seen, which saw a large-scale billboard campaign along the renowned Sheikh Zayed Road.

About Rapyd

Rapyd is the fastest way to power local payments anywhere in the world, enabling companies across the globe to access markets quicker than ever before. By utilising Rapyd’s unparalleled payments network and fintech as a service platform, businesses and consumers can engage in local and cross-border transactions in any market. The Rapyd platform is unifying fragmented payment systems worldwide by bringing together 900-plus payment methods in over 100 countries. Rapyd’s investors include Stripe, General Catalyst, Oak HC/FT, Coatue, Tiger Global, Durable Capital, Target Global, Fidelity Management and Research Company, Altimeter Capital, BlackRock Funds and Tal Capital.

About Dubai International Financial Centre

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is one of the world’s most advanced financial centres, and the leading financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), which comprises 72 countries with an approximate population of 3 billion and an estimated GDP of USD 7.7 trillion.

With an 18-year track record of facilitating trade and investment flows across the MEASA region, the Centre connects these fast-growing markets with the economies of Asia, Europe and the Americas through Dubai.

DIFC is home to an internationally recognised, independent regulator and a proven judicial system with an English common law framework, as well as the region’s largest financial ecosystem of almost 30,000 professionals working across over 3,600 active registered companies – making up the largest and most diverse pool of industry talent in the region.

The Centre’s vision is to drive the future of finance through cutting-edge technology, innovation, and partnerships. Today, it is the global future of finance and innovation hub offering one of the region’s most comprehensive FinTech and venture capital environments, including cost-effective licensing solutions, fit-for-purpose regulation, innovative accelerator programmes, and funding for growth-stage start-ups.

Comprising a variety of world-renowned retail and dining venues, a dynamic art and culture scene, residential apartments, hotels and public spaces, DIFC continues to be one of Dubai’s most sought-after business and lifestyle destinations.