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Rapyd debuts in Dubai to tap into cross-border commerce

The fintech platform helps companies access markets by powering local payments and curating local commerce.

[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

The UAE emerged as an attractive fintech hub during the pandemic with increased digital adoption, a booming eCommerce economy, and transformative digital marketing initiatives. 

Last week, Rapyd, an Israeli fintech enterprise, opened its first office in Dubai International Financial Centre. It aims to help companies access markets by powering local payments and curate local commerce experiences by building the technology that removes the back-end complexities of cross-border commerce while providing local payments expertise.

The decision to open an office in Dubai happened during the pandemic’s peak, says Arik Shtilman, Co-Founder & CEO of Rapyd. “The only country that allowed people to come in and out during the pandemic from different jurisdictions and meet was Dubai. We started to have a lot of meetings with our American investors and APAC experts in Dubai, which opened up our understanding that Dubai had fortified its position as a business hub.”

Shtilman said that UAE would serve as a base and entry point for the enterprise’s access to the entire MENA region. “With a lot of tech talent relocating here, we also saw many businesses moving here from Singapore and Hong Kong as the rules here were more flexible. Basically, we understood that post-pandemic Dubai would emerge as a significant business and tech hub, and we decided as a strategic decision we want to have a significant presence that will allow us to recruit people faster and better because in other jurisdictions where we operate there is a lot of competition in the recruitment of tech, so we decided to do it here.”

With expansion into the rest of the Middle East on the charts, the business will have twofold plans, which Shtilman says involve building the Dubai office as a tech hub and recruiting engineers and product people to support the fast-growing operations globally. 

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