Ethos Invest has launched the world’s first Sharia-compliant tech focused private equity fund.
The Financial Services & Technologies Fund is set to become the world’s largest fund of its kind, focusing on financial services and technology, with a target fundraise of £1bn for private equity investments in Sharia-compliant and ethical SMEs.
It will invest in emerging innovators such as banking, asset management and payments. Other tech areas like blockchain, robotics and AI will be backed.
The majority of capital will be deployed in the UK with additional investments in Europe, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the wider MENA region, Southeast Asia and North America.
Along with Ethos Invest, the Jersey-based fund will be launched by the Al Inma Investment Company, the BMO Global Asset Management private equity team, and Vistra, which serves as the fund’s administrator.
The fast-growing Sharia-compliant investment industry is available across 80 countries but remains in relative new in Western markets.
The company has plans for additional funds across different sectors as well as an ambition to establish digital banking and wealth management offerings.
Hamish Mair, managing director and head of private equity at BMO Global Asset Management, said: “We are delighted to be involved in the Ethos Fund, which will provide exposure to a well-diversified private equity portfolio for a large and underserved market for whom this has been previously inaccessible.
“The ethical and Sharia-compliant goals of the fund, and the resulting portfolio of investments thereof, will be a natural extension of BMO Global Asset Management’s well established ESG-oriented investment approach.”
Abdullah Medallah at Abdullah Medallah & Co, which handled the legal side, added: “The uniqueness of the fund is that it bridges the gap for private equity funds between the UK and other Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia.”