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Muslims come into the frame in Southeast Asia’s fintech boom


Founded in 2014, Blossom Finance was first intended for Muslim entrepreneurs in the United States. The microfinancing platform connects investors with small businesses using mudarabah, a shariah-compliant profit-sharing agreement. But founder Matthew Joseph Martin soon realized that the startup, backed by investors like Boost VC and Tim Draper, was serving a relatively niche market in the States. So he started researching markets with large populations of Muslim people. Indonesia emerged as the best choice.
Southeast Asia is already home to a thriving fintech scene, where Grab, GoTo and Sea have built super apps that encompass financial services, and startups like Xendit, Akulaku and Dana (to name a few) have raised hundreds of millions of dollars for payments, banking services and other financial tools. Indonesia and Malaysia, in the heart of Southeast Asia, are among the countries with the largest Muslim populations in the world.
These factors are proving fertile ground for establishing and growing fintechs …

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