#Asia Salaam, fintech: Organisation to bring together Islamic crowdfunding launched in KL


The core goals are to promote standards, develop ideas in accordance to religion and work with stakeholders to build a vibrant ecosystem

Muslim woman FINAL

The Islamic Fintech Alliance (IFT Alliance), a global collaboration spanning everywhere from Southeast Asia to France and Qatar, was launched yesterday at an event in Kuala Lumpur with goal to “facilitate the adoption of finance technology among Muslims”.

With its headquarters in Singapore, the formation of the group comes as Muslim-focussed startups are beginning to grab traction — and attention — across the region.

Most notable has been the advancement of Islamic Crowdfunding (similar to any crowdfunding campaign but targeted towards the muslim community) which IFT Alliance says will have 30 platforms by July 2016.

The IFT Alliance has three core goals it hopes to achieve.

1. To build trust and support among Muslims by establishing, promoting and enforcing standards.

2. To expand, develop and and improve upon innovative ideas in accordance with “Sharia and Social-impact elements”.

3. To work with regulators and stakeholders to build and support a vibrant ecosystem.

Also Read: Islamic crowdfunding can change our world for the better

“Muslims have different needs and wants when it comes to finance and trade. The rise of fintech represents a unique opportunity for Muslim-focused Finance Technology to serve a young and connected Muslim crowd, spread across the globe,” said Umar Mushni, the initiator of the alliance and Founder of Singapore’s EthisCrowd.com.

Rachid Ouaich, Founder of the French company Easiup.fr said the hope is to ease the allocation and circulation of resources within communities.

“This creates a much-needed truly inclusive financial system that is able to reach the bottom of the pyramid,” he said.

The alliance will initially focus on Islamic Crowdfunding as the eight founding members all run various platforms. The ninth participant, Associate Member Elain Lockman, runs a crowdfunding equity company in Malaysia.

A full breakdown of the IFT Alliance is as follows:

Umar Munshi, founder of EthisCrowd.com (Singapore)

Mohammad Raafi Hossain, founder of Narwi.org (Qatar)

Rachid Ouaich, partner at Easiup.fr (France/Luxemburg)

Matthew J Martin, founder of BlossomFinance.com (USA/Indonesia)

Founding Members:
Ken Imrie, founder of FundingLab.net (Scotland/Palestine)
Erly Witoyo, founder of KapitalBoost.com (Singapore)
Chris Abdur-Rahman Blauvelt, founder of LaunchGood.com (USA)
Tengku Syamil, co-founder of SkolaFund.com (Malaysia)

Associate Member:
Elain Lockman, founder of Ata-plus.com (Malaysia)

In a World Bank report from April 2015, the global financial institution cited a statistic that says five per cent of the world’s unbanked population cite religious reasons for their status. In predominantly Muslim countries like Turkey and Uzbekistan, the number jumps to around quarter of all adults.

So, alternative options are necessary to provide this population with the means to find financial support for personal ventures.

“We need to create accessible and popular mobile platforms that connect supporters with beneficiaries if we wish to empower those that need help the most, and facilitate lasting socio-economic change at the grassroots level,” said Ken Imrie, Founder of FundingLab.net in Scotland. 

Also Read: Muslim fashion e-commerce startup HijUp raises capital

In December, e27 ran an article arguing Islamic crowdfunding provides great value by helping young religious entrepreneurs find a support network while still maintaining their standards under an Islamic worldview. It also helps break down cultural barriers which can help dispel Islamophobia.

Finally, as about 25 per cent of the world’s population is Muslim, the market potential is huge.

The IFT Alliance is an example of a concrete organisation working to unify the Muslim crowdfunding — and eventually fintech — industry.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.




The post Salaam, fintech: Organisation to bring together Islamic crowdfunding launched in KL appeared first on e27.

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