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New York Online Investment Firm Gets Aramco Financing for Islamic Products

Wahed Invest has secured a license to operate in Saudi Arabia

New York-based Wahed Invest has secured financing from oil giant Saudi Aramco to expand into the Middle East and make Riyadh its regional hub.

The Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures extended the funding to the online Islamic investment platform as part of a $25 million funding round.

Wahed Invest founder Junaid Wahedna emphasized the importance of getting Aramco as an investor as it reassures clients that they are investing in a company backed by a reliable and familiar name.

Also investing in Wahed Invest were Dubai-based BECO Capital and the Cue Ball Group from Boston.

The three-year-old Wahed Invest, which has secured a license to operate in Saudi Arabia, aims to get regulatory approval in 20 more countries.

It currently has licenses to operate in nine countries.

Seeking to tap into the rising Islamic finance market, Wahed Invest started Malaysia's first Shariah-compliant digital investment platform in October.

The company's Islamic Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) holds investments in Apple, Johnson & Johnson, and Intel Corp.

Wahed Invest is also contemplating listing its Islamic ETF on the Saudi stock exchange. Its ETF was listed on the Nasdaq last year.

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