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DIFC-Funded Neobank “Planet 9” Aims to Empower Migrant Workers

Planet 9 intends to make loans to migrant workers based on remittances.

Planet 9, a neobank supported by the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) FinTech Accelerator Programme, plans to provide loans to migrant workers based on their remittances. 

The initiative aspires to address the challenges faced by the two million migrants from Tajikistan and other countries who often struggle to access funding due to a lack of credit history and banking services.

Innovative Loan Model:

Founder Bobur Murvatov’s personal experience and observations inspired the creation of Planet 9, focusing on democratizing access to loans for families of migrants. 

The new bank’s innovative model involves providing small amounts of capital to migrant workers, which they can repay from their salaries. 

The lack of credit history among migrants typically makes them ineligible for traditional lending products, prompting the need for a streamlined and accessible loan solution.

Send Now Pay Later (SNPL) in the UAE:

Planet 9, already operational in two Central Asian countries, is launching a “Send Now Pay Later (SNPL)” product in the UAE. 

This initiative, developed in collaboration with exchange houses, targets the Dh50 million remittances market, aiming to assist the approximately eight million migrants in the UAE. 

The platform utilizes AI models to analyze financial information and determine loan limits within minutes.

Addressing Challenges Faced by Migrants in the UAE:

Migrants often face challenges accessing loans from traditional banks, leading some to resort to loan sharks. 

Planet 9’s solution aims to provide a legal and transparent alternative, preventing migrant workers from falling prey to unscrupulous lenders. 

The new bank’s innovative approach has garnered significant interest in the UAE.

DIFC FinTech Accelerator Programme Success:

Planet 9 is among the companies funded by the DIFC as part of its FinTech Accelerator Programme, showcasing the initiative’s success. 

The program has graduated over 200 companies, with success stories such as Sarwa and XYA. Since its inception, graduates have raised over $600 million in funding.

The DIFC AccelerateHER program has supported diverse start-ups, allowing them to showcase their products and innovations. Investor Day marked the culmination of this year’s program, featuring pitches, fireside chats, and panel discussions.

Ezyrent’s Second Iteration:

Another noteworthy project featured is Ezyrent, an app allowing people to split yearly rents into monthly installments. 

Founder Charlie Berbari’s journey highlights the importance of adaptability, with Ezyrent pivoting from its initial factoring concept to address the rising demand for flexible rent payment solutions in the UAE.

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