StanChart and Old Mutual launch Mena wealth platform

The respective venture capital arms of Standard Chartered and Old Mutual, SC Ventures and NEXT176, have collaborated on the launch of a financial wellness platform.

The move will see two existing ventures merged together – SC Ventures’ Autumn, a wealth planning app incubated in Singapore, and NEXT176’s 22seven, a budgeting app based in South Africa.

The merger is expected to close in Q2 2024.

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The new platform, based in the UAE, will aim to bring AI-led and shariah-compliant offerings to Mena-based retail investors.

One of the reasons for the merger is the growth of the Mena wealth management market. According to Boston Consulting Group, assets under management in the Middle East rose by 16% to US$1.2 trillion in 2022 and further growth is expected for the region.

“The UAE and the Middle East are emerging as one of the leading destinations for wealth management globally — whether it’s high net worth income population, Millennials, or Gen Z — there is demand for technologically advanced and highly-customised wealth management tools supported by ongoing financial education,” said Benito Mable, venture and strategic partnerships lead, SC Ventures.

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