ADGM Reglab attracts record number of applications for its 3rd Cohort

ADGM FSRA 04/06/2018


  • 36 local and global FinTech applications accepted for review in the 3rd Cohort
  • ADGM Reglab has received a total of 69 FinTech applications since launch that allows participants to live-test their solutions with real clients
  • ADGM has the most active FinTech regulatory sandbox in the region and second most active regulatory sandbox globally

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the International Financial Centre in Abu Dhabi, successfully concluded its 3rd round of applications for its Regulatory Laboratory (Reglab) programme with a total of 36 local and international new FinTech innovators offering potential solutions for the financial and small-medium enterprise ("SME") sectors in the Middle East and Africa region.
The latest ADGM RegLab call-out saw a 70% jump in interest from the 2nd cohort of 22 applications and 11 in the 1st batch. The startup innovators who have applied under the third cohort to test their FinTech innovation in the ADGM RegLab represent a diverse mix of local and international markets, including the UAE, Bahrain, Lebanon, Kenya, India, Malaysia, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Spain, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

RegLab Cohort 3 opened for applications from FinTech companies with a theme to promote inclusion and access to quality financial services for the SME sector. The types of FinTech innovation offered by the applicants range from payment solutions, supply chain financing, Islamic finance solutions, advanced analytics and machine learning to provide new insights and deeper risk evaluation, to cash flow and risk management solutions. Successful applicants authorised and admitted into the RegLab will be able to live-test their solutions with real consumers.

Richard Teng, CEO of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of ADGM said: "ADGM RegLab is the 2nd most active FinTech sandbox in the world and has been instrumental in establishing the benchmark, industry practice and governance for FinTech collaboration and regulations in this region.
To-date, ADGM Reglab has received close to 70 applications from FinTech firms, with ready-to-market solutions to assist financial institutions and businesses in Abu Dhabi and the wider region. ADGM will work closely with its firms to help SMEs enhance their digital capabilities, and enable financial institutions to extend quality financial services to SMEs through better access to data and analytics solutions, deepen financial inclusion and accelerate economic growth."

ADGM launched its RegLab in November 2016 - the first tailored regulatory regime for FinTech participants in the region. ADGM RegLab was designed to foster innovation within the UAE financial services market for both new market entrants and existing financial institutions. Once authorised and admitted into the RegLab, FinTech participants are eligible to operate within the RegLab for a period of up to two years. 

Participants benefit from:

  • working closely with a dedicated team of supervisors who provide regulatory support and guidance to help FinTechs understand and navigate the regulatory requirements, and draw up appropriate - regulatory controls and test plan for their FinTech solutions as firms scale up their business;
  • gaining strategic access to ADGM's network of mentors, financial institutions and investors to develop and scale their solutions; and
  • having support of a digital sandbox service provided by Temenos (the software specialist for banking and finance) that enable them to integrate their solutions with banking data and functionality
  • and test the solutions for scalability and robustness.

As an IFC and FinTech Hub, ADGM continues to play an active role collaborating with industry stakeholders including accelerators, co-working business centres, academic, financial and technological institutions, regulatory agencies, industry associations and the start-up community to develop the wider FinTech ecosystem.

About Abu Dhabi Global Market

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), an international financial centre (IFC) located in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, opened for business on 21 October 2015. Established by UAE Federal Decree as a broad-based financial centre, ADGM augments Abu Dhabi's position as a global hub for business and finance and serves as a strategic link between the growing economies of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia and the rest of the world.

ADGM's strategy is anchored by Abu Dhabi's key strengths including private banking, wealth management, asset management and financial innovation. Comprising three independent authorities: ADGM Courts, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority and the Registration Authority, ADGM as IFC governs the Al Maryah Island which is a designated financial free zone. It enables registered financial institutions, companies and entities to operate, innovate and succeed within an international regulatory framework based on Common Law. ADGM has been awarded the "Financial Centre of the Year (MENA)" for two consecutive years, since its inception, for its initiatives and contributions to the financial and capital markets industry in the region.* 

For more details of ADGM, please visit or follow us on Twitter: @adglobalmarket and Linkedin: ADGM.  For latest ADGM FInTech updates, please visit

* Source: The Global Investor Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Awards

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Joan Lew, Senior Manager, Communications
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