Algbra raises £3.75 million to create a new type of financial institution

Algbra raises £3.75 million to create a new type of financial institution

As published in Finextra, 18 May 2021

Algbra, a sustainable and values-focused digital finance provider dedicated to bringing an end to community and ethnicity based financial inequality has launched.

Founded by Chief Executive Zeiad Idris and Chief Operating Officer Fizel Nejabat, the firm’s mission is to educate, engage and empower overlooked minority communities and facilitate their ability to take control of their finances. Algbra has raised £3.75m in fundraising and is backed by SFC Capital, British Business Investments and New World Group.

To date, the financial services industry has been a cause of the racialised wealth and social gap, where ethnic minorities are at least twice as likely to face obstacles when using financial services than their white counterparts in the UK and US. The reasons for this include values-based exclusion, racial profiling and lack of trust. The Algbra platform is built to create an inclusive ecosystem that fits with the everyday financing needs of ethically-minded consumers, offering products and services that have the following principles at its heart – transparency, fairness, sustainability and non-interest based finance.

Combining grassroots community understanding with global expertise, Algbra will serve the world’s growing communities that wish to bank in accordance with their values and faith, including a global market of 2bn Muslims (of which 800m are unbanked), to actively facilitate social mobility and enhance financial inclusion globally. Algbra will launch a core set of financial products, including current accounts, foreign exchange, remittances and rewards, with lending products to follow shortly thereafter.

Zeiad Idris, Co-Founder and CEO, Algbra: “We are the first Fintech to take a fully values-based approach to serving communities with a truly systemic approach to financial inclusion. Moreover, we are committed to engaging, educating and empowering minorities to close the wealth and social gaps that exist. There are 1.3 billion addressable people on the planet who remain unbanked. If we want to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic to a better version of our world, we cannot do that without ensuring that everyone can participate in today’s financial system and therefore be included in modern society.”

Fizel Nejabat, Co-Founder and COO, Algbra: “Society, including minority communities, are increasingly opting for financial services that accord with their values and beliefs. The climate strike and Black Lives Matter protests have highlighted the need for financial services to offer minority communities a lever of power within their financial lives. Therefore, it is essential that our industry responds in a more systematic fashion, building organisations and delivering financial products that shift corporate shareholder primacy to stakeholder priority to address the deep inequalities that exist and offer solutions that are suitable for all.”

Dedicated to diversity, inclusion and equality, Algbra has recruited an advisory board which is committed to the principles of Algbra’s mission and vision, including Nicolas Huss, formerly CEO of Ingenico Group and VISA Europe, Shabir Randeree CBE, founding investor in the Islamic Bank of Britain, Lena Tan, Director of 7-Eleven in Malaysia, Eamon Jubbawy, Co-founder and COO of Onfido, Amir Nooriala, formerly COO of OakNorth Bank and Claire Valoti, VP of International at Snapchat.

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