USA: Wahed raises $7 million for Halal-based investment platform

By Dean Takahashi – Venture Beat

Wahed Invest has raised $7 million in funding for its Halal-focused investing platform. This will enable more people to put their money in Halal-compliant investments, or those that are permissible under traditional Islamic law.

The digital investment company received this funding from Cue Ball Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm, and BECO Capital, a Middle Eastern VC known for backing a variety of regional startups.

New York-based Wahed said its clients will be able to roll over 401(k) and IRA assets onto the Wahed investing platform. Wahed will also enable people in the U.K. to invest in Halal-compliant entities by the end of 2017.

“We know that practicing Muslims believe in a complete approach to embracing Halal values but, until recently, have lacked the ability to easily incorporate investing into their ethical practices,” said Wahed CEO Junaid Wahedna, in a statement. “With the addition of 401k and IRA rollovers to our investing platform, Wahed is taking the next step toward being the preeminent, full-service Halal-focused investing platform for the Islamic community, giving Muslims and other Americans the opportunity to confidently and ethically invest in their futures.”

Above: Wahed’s Halal-based investment platform.

Image Credit: Wahed

Wahed’s system is overseen by an ethical review board, which focuses on ensuring that American Muslims can invest in companies that agree with their values (including those that are not involved in liquor, firearms, gambling, and tobacco industries). The platform also screens investments that generate profit from interest and those that do not comply with certain debt ratios.

“With its democratizing platform, ethical review board, and expansive offering, Wahed has gone to extensive measures to create an investing platform for this very large market,” said Ali Rahimtula, partner at Cue Ball Capital, in a statement. “Cue Ball is thrilled to invest in Wahed, as we expand our portfolio of world-class financial technology companies and purpose-driven investments.”

The platform has a $100 minimum investment and a web interface.

“Traditional wealth management does not cater to the needs of the masses,” said Amir Farha, CIO of BECO Capital. “Wahed Invest is leveraging technology to provide a more affordable and efficient medium for the majority of muslims to preserve their wealth.”