Bayes alumna bids to bring institutions and fintechs closer together with open finance platform

Fintech Galaxy won $2 million in funding and is targeting increased and safer banking across Middle East and North Africa markets.

An Executive MBA alumna has secured a $2 million funding boost to expand her financial firm and develop new avenues for collaboration between institutions and fintechs.

Mirna Sleiman founded Fintech Galaxy during her time at Bayes Business School (formerly Cass), penning the business’s growth plan in her final year thesis in 2018.

Three years later, the UAE-based open innovation platform is branching out across Middle East and North Africa (MENA) markets, aiming to change the face of financial services with a platform that will provide improved integration between organisations and fintechs and provide access to customer data from partner banks.

Ms Sleiman says the development will allow for financial data such as mortgages, savings, pensions, insurance, and consumer credit to be opened to trusted third parties. Open Banking, widely adopted now in many countries around the world, allows third-party developers to access customer data from their banks and act as a bridge to financial technology platforms.

“Our main goal is to democratise financial services by building a stable and secure infrastructure and enabling smooth and standard integration between financial institutions and solutions providers.

“For several years now, the financial sector of the MENA region has been abuzz with the concepts of ‘Open Banking’ and ‘Open Finance’. Our vision is to provide not only the technology infrastructure but rather enabling the whole ecosystem to access data and payment channels via a unified gateway; and supporting financial institutions in their compliance with international and local Open Banking frameworks.”

The successful seed round was led by Jordan’s Ahli Fintech and joined by Saudi RAZ Group, Scene Investments, Egypt’s EFG EV Fintech and INSEAD Angels.

Ms Sleiman is now targeting continued strides, with many government bodies, banks and fintechs using Fintech Galaxy’s API Sandbox for innovation activities, having started the journey at Bayes in 2016.

“Fintech Galaxy was born during my Executive MBA and the graduation thesis was the company’s growth business plan.

“Every class I took taught me something I applied during the early days – primarily strategy, governance, digital transformation and financial planning. Working closely with Professor Costas Andriopoulos on the business plan helped solidify the investor pitch deck which I used to raise the seed funding.”

Professor Costas Andriopoulos, Professor of Management and Associate Dean for Entrepreneurship, said: “Mirna developed a remarkable business plan and pitch deck while taking my New Venture Creation course. I was instantly impressed by her extensive knowledge of the industry and the needs of her target market, as well as by her desire and determination to convert her idea into a business.

“This is an interesting space, and I am delighted to see that the idea that she created on paper in the course and further developed during her final year project became Fintech Galaxy. I am so proud of what Mirna and her team have achieved and I am thrilled to see how well their recent fundraising campaign went. This shows that the business is well placed to take advantage of the opportunities in this industry.”

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