Stripe expands to the Middle East with UAE launch

Stripe expands to the Middle East with UAE launch

The global online payments company, Stripe, has chosen Dubai for its first expansion into the Middle East and North Africa. The launch comes after the introduction of its private beta in the country a few months ago. Stripe’s expansion to the Middle East has been in the works since early 2019.

Founded in 2010 by two brothers from Ireland Patrick and John Collison, Stripe allows businesses to accept online payments and competes directly with PayPal, Adyen and Square.  Stripe is the second large online payments player to have expanded to the region in the last six months. Adyen, the Amsterdam-headquartered startup has also opened an office in Dubai to support local payment methods across GCC and Egypt. The startup was launched in the UAE through a partnership with Dubai-headquartered Network International.

For now, Stripe will only be available for businesses in UAE. As the statement by the company noted, it will enable businesses to accept online payments from customers all around the world and make payouts. The launch also means that it will be easier for Stripe’s existing clients to make their products and services available in the United Arab Emirates. Its presence in the region, the company said, will encourage global enterprise-level organizations to do business in the UAE and broader Middle East.

Commenting on the launch, Matt Henderson, Business Lead for Stripe, EMEA said Stripe was coming to the UAE to remove the complexities that businesses face when they want to make transactions so they can focus wholly on their business.

“The UAE is a thriving hub for technology, supported by strong investor appetite, internet-savvy consumers, and an open, innovative ecosystem of business leaders and entrepreneurs. Similarly, the pool of tech talent in the Middle East is growing very rapidly. However, companies still face challenges when trying to accept payments, make payouts, and manage the financial side of internet businesses. Stripe removes these complexities so businesses can focus on what makes them special.”

Stripe will initially be provided to those businesses that had registered interest in its UAE launch. It will queue the invites to manage the demand levels during the initial phase of availability in the country. It has over 10,000 companies on its waitlist. Some businesses in the UAE, including startups like ChatFood and WeKeep, have been using Stripe already as they were part of the company’s pre-launch beta.

This expansion is coming weeks after the startup’s latest funding round which pushed the company’s valuation to $95 billion, making it the most valuable fintech startup to come out of Silicon Valley, worth more than Facebook and Uber before they went public.

The Pandemic and attendant lockdown measures across the world have helped accelerate e-commerce and e-payment options in the world and the UAE is no exception. The growth of e-commerce is predicted to continue in UAE, with the sector expected to add about $10billion over the next two years.