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Valar Ventures leads $20M round in online brokerage platform baraka

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Stock-trading apps have multiplied over the past couple of years, targeting varying demographics and audiences that they feel need to partake in investment activities to live healthier financial lives. 

In the latest development, baraka, a two-year-old commission-free investment platform based in the Middle East, is announcing that it has closed a $20 million Series A round led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures with participation from global investment firm Knollwood to expand across the region and reach more users. 

CEO Feras Jalbout‘s years of investment experience working with Barclays, Standard Chartered and a Dubai-based family office led him to launch baraka in 2020. His upbringing also played a part. In an interview with TechCrunch, Jalbout told how he learned about investments such as stocks and government-assisted retirement funds while growing up in Canada, where investing was institutionalized. However, in the Middle East, it was a different ballgame. For years, people in the region have invested via traditional savings options such as bank deposits and real…

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