Dubai-based peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform Beehive has secured $5 million investment as part of a Series A round led by Riyad TAQNIA Fund and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Fund (MBRF), it announced October 1.
The round of investment, which included other regional investors, brings the total funds raised by Beehive to $10.5 million since its launch in 2014.
The valuation at which the investment was made remains undisclosed.
According to Beehive Founder and CEO Craig Moore, the latest fund infusion will be used to further grow the product and expansion into newer markets like Saudi Arabia.
P2P lending, as a concept, is founded on (loan-based) crowdfunding principles and involves investors directly investing into businesses via an online platform.
Beehive facilitates flexible Sharia-compliant financing solutions for established SMEs seeking finance from Dhs100,000 for up to 3 years—directly connecting them with a crowd of investors on its platform.
Individual investors can invest as little as Dhs100 into any business listed on the platform.
Under its operations, Beehive claims to have successfully facilitated finance over $35 million to more than 200 business funding requests and registered more than 5000 international investors.
In March this year, Beehive became the first P2P lending platform in MENA to be regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority.
Adel Al-Ateeq, Acting CEO, Riyad Capital, said that with the investment, the firm would be supporting the company’s expansion into Saudi Arabia where it would finance Saudi SMEs.
Riyad TAQNIA Fund (RTF) is a Saudi Arabia-based venture capital fund founded by Riyad Capital and TAQNIA.
Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, of which MBRF is the financial arm, will be joining the Beehive board post the investment.
MBRF and Beehive had inked an agreement in June that enabled Dubai SME members to obtain loans for development and expansion through the Beehive Group Finance Platform.