UAE-based financial literacy startup Verity, has closed a $800,000 pre-Seed round, backed by regional venture capital firms, including Wamda, VentureSouq, and Beyond Capital, with contributions from angel investors.
Founded by Omar Al Sharif, Dina Shoman and Kamal Al-Samarrai and set to launch in the fourth quarter of 2021, Verity is a fintech mobile app that enables young children and teenagers (aged between eight to 18) to build core money management skills such as how to earn, save, give, and spend responsibly with full parental supervision.
The app’s key features include a pre-paid debit card, digitised allowance, chores management and saving goals. Through subscription-based family plans, parents can create sub-accounts for their children, which they can monitor and control as primary account holders.
The investment will enable Verity to go online in UAE this year with expansion across Mena slated for 2022.
Verity, a UAE-based fintech startup headquartered in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), has closed a $800,000 pre-Seed round, preparing for the launch of its fully-integrated family banking and financial literacy app built for the Middle East. The latest capital raise was backed by regional venture capital firms, including VentureSouq, Wamda, and Beyond Capital, with contributions from prominent angel investors. With experiential learning at its core, the Verity app provides kids and teens with the tools they need to earn, save, give, and spend responsibly while giving parents the ability to observe and guide their money management.
Targeting its UAE launch in the fourth quarter of 2021, with the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) expansion slated for 2022, the Verity app takes a creative and holistic approach to teach kids and teens between the ages of eight and 18 personal finance in a real-life environment. Through subscription-based family plans, parents can create sub-accounts for their children, which they can monitor and control as primary account holders.
Omar Al Sharif, co-founder of Verity, with over 15 years of strategy and marketing experience in the regional entrepreneurship ecosystem, commented: “When Dina, Kamal and I came together to form Verity, our mission was very clear from day one – to make the next generation more financially conscious and financially independent. Verity is built in the region and for the region, so it was important for us to create an app that encompassed our Middle Eastern culture and values, in addition to global citizenship. We wanted parents to know we were on the same page as them when it came to what and how their children were taught. Everything about the Verity app is highly personalised in that respect, from the user journey to the language options, starting with Arabic and English.”
Parents will be able to top up the accounts, set parameters and spending limits, and initiate a reward system, where kids can earn additional funds after completing specific chores and tasks. Kids then have the options of saving their money, contributing it to a cause of their choice, and spending it using a personalised pre-paid debit card which can be used to make purchases online and in stores. Parents will be notified of all transactions, allowing them to monitor and adjust parameters as needed.
Dina Shoman, co-founder of Verity, international banking veteran, and serial financial literacy entrepreneur, said: “Financial literacy is a basic life skill which, unfortunately, we aren’t ‘taught’ early on, if ever. According to S&P Global’s Financial Literacy Survey, approximately 66 per cent of adults are financially illiterate. However, it’s been proven that kids can grasp simple financial concepts from a very young age, and that one of the most effective ways for them to learn is by doing. We’ve combined experiential learning with fun and engaging tools to create a safe space that gives kids the freedom to choose what they do with their money, without compromising their parents’ peace of mind or peace of wallet.”
Kamal Al-Samarrai, former investment banker, serial entrepreneur, and now co-founder of Verity commented, “Although Verity’s journey is just beginning, we’ve had a really positive response from key members of the investment and tech communities who share our vision. We truly believe that by encouraging and helping children to manage their money responsibly today, they won’t repeat the mistakes we made when we were younger, ensuring they are better placed to enjoy a more financially stable and secure future. We are honored and thankful to have prominent regional investors partnering with us as we bring this vision to life.”
Tammer Qadoumi, General Partner of the VentureSouq Mena Fintech Fund, commented on investing in Verity, "The transition to a digital-first economy is driven first and foremost by young people, and their influence on how the world lives and works will only get stronger. So the products and services that are most likely to succeed tomorrow are being designed to speak to and relate to that audience. That audience cares a lot about purpose. We believe strongly in the importance of Verity's mission of disseminating financial literacy, in and of itself. But we also believe that by actually caring about financial literacy, Verity's products will resonate more with its target market, and this will drive its growth."