Dubai International Financial Centre reaffirms status as pivotal InsurTech hub

Tuesday 06 August 2019
Peyman Al Awadhi, Head of Marketing & Corporate Communications, DIFC Authority
Dubai - MENA Herald:

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading international financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, has reaffirmed its status as a global FinTech Hub and the ideal base for InsurTech companies to thrive and transform the insurance sector. Addenda, a budding InsurTech firm that uses distributed ledger technology to streamline processes between insurance companies, is the latest DIFC-based start-up to reach a significant milestone in its growth journey, with five major regional insurance players signing on to its integrated Blockchain platform.

Peyman Al Awadhi, Head of Marketing & Corporate Communications, DIFC Authority, said: “When DIFC set out to develop its comprehensive FinTech ecosystem, of which InsurTech is a key component, our mission was to establish a space where the world’s leading financial institutions could engage with innovative entrepreneurs developing cutting-edge technologies. Addenda’s latest achievement is a true testament to how this has come to life, and we look forward to supporting them as they continue to disrupt the way the regional Insurance sector operates.”

Since graduating from the second cohort of DIFC’s FinTech Hive accelerator programme in 2018 and subsequently receiving a license to operate in the Centre, Addenda has made significant headway in the development of its game-changing InsurTech solution. This has been driven in part through partnerships the firm has secured while being part of the Centre’s dynamic community of over 24,000 professionals working across more than 2,100 firms. 

Karim Davis Dib, COO of Addenda, commented: “We're pleased to have started our journey as part of DIFC FinTech Hive. The accelerator program last year was an acceleration towards achieving a pivotal product and gaining new flagship clients, many of which are in the insurance sector. Our relationship with DIFC provided a pathway to securing overall support from the region's financial institutions. This is only the beginning of our insurance Blockchain journey, and we look forward to achieving the next stage of success.” 

With the global InsurTech market revenue valued at US$ 533 million in 2018 and expected to reach over US$ 1 billion by 2023, a number of UAE and Middle East-based Insurance firms are recognising the potential this fast-growing sector has to offer. Aman Insurance, Al Wathba Insurance, National Takaful Company (Watania), Noor Takaful and Oriental Insurance are the first companies to adopt Addenda’s ground-breaking technology, demonstrating the first use-case for a blockchain transaction in the regional Insurance industry.

Rajesh Sethi, Chief Executive Officer, Noor Takaful, commented: “As a member of the DIFC FinTech Hive partner network, we were delighted to play a role in Addenda’s journey. The new Blockchain technology is a first for the region and will enable institutions in the MENA region to collaborate more efficiently, eliminate intermediaries and speed up claims. It also has the potential to solve legacy challenges and to become the blueprint for the digital insurance technology of the future.”

Jihad Faitrouni, Chief Executive Officer, Aman Insurance, said: “Innopreneurship is the word I would use to describe what the Addenda brothers are demonstrating.  We are privileged to partner with this promising start-up, and believe blockchain is the future of InsurTech in the UAE Market.”

Martin Sebastian, Head of Information Technology, National Takaful Company (Watania), commented: “We are proud to be one of the first companies to have joined the Addenda network. We believe that blockchain technology will shape the connected future of tomorrow's insurance ecosystem. As a company, we have always stood by start-ups who have shown extraordinary brilliance in cutting edge technology, and Addenda is one certainly one of them.”

The significant push for the advancement of digital technology is part of DIFC’s ongoing efforts to shape the future of finance in MEASA and the Centre’s sustained efforts to unlock the potential of FinTech and InsurTech in the region.  InsurTech remains a key focal point for the Centre, with leading global firms, such as Charles Taylor InsurTech establishing a presence in the DIFC in the first half of 2019.  The Centre also continues to attract significant interest from promising start-ups in the field, with over 15% of applications received for the 2019 cohort of DIFC FinTech Hive’s accelerator programme coming from InsurTech firms.

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