Bringing Inclusion to DeFi with Sheesha Finance — Friends of MRHB Series #1
Friends of MRHB Series Ep 1: Bringing Inclusion to DeFi with Sheesha Finance
For ethical or religious reasons, many faith-based, unbanked and retail entities are unable to participate in decentralized finance (DeFi). But this is all about to change as companies like MRHB DeFi and Sheesha Finance band together with the shared aim of bringing DeFi to the masses.
Sheesha Finance is a leading tokenized DeFi mutual fund platform based in the United Arab Emirates. It offers a level playing field for investors to access a diversified portfolio of projects.
A long-time supporter of MRHB DeFi, Sheesha Finance has not only invested in us, they have also come on as a strategic partner, collaborating alongside mutually beneficial initiatives that align with Islamic Finance business practices.
Exclusive Insights from Sheesha Finance CEO
We speak to Saeed Hareb Al Darmaki, Founder and CEO of Sheesha Finance as well as Co-Founder of Alphabit Fund, who shares his thoughts on their collaboration, the importance of advocating for decentralized finance, and how their community has helped grow Sheesha Finance to where it is today.
Q: What was the inspiration behind Sheesha Finance and how did it all start?
The inspiration of Sheesha Finance came from my experience as an angel investor in multiple companies and the inability of the everyday investor who wanted to gain exposure to projects at early-stage prices.
Disrupting the traditional VC model was at the forefront of this idea. As such, we decided to build a platform which started running on Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain, and gradually encompassed Polygon as well. We wanted regular people to participate without the need to have a minimum amount of money to participate or to do KYC/AML. Instead, the system would be run by smart contracts with no management or performance fees.
We built the platform for our community so that anybody who is new to the space or too busy with their own traditional businesses can come in and get exposure to a diversified crypto portfolio without having to have a reputation or track record in order to get tokens of top upcoming projects at early-stage prices.
Q: What are the top 3 factors that you consider before investing in a project?
I would look into the team, narrative, and token economics.
Q: Why did you choose to invest in MRHB DeFi?
Marhaba was one of the first projects we invested in because it perfectly matched our investment criteria. They were doing something different than other projects, marketing themselves as the world’s first ethical and halal defi ecosystem — something which, as a company based in the UAE, we are very familiar with. In addition to this is their large and strong team of smart, personable individuals with a proven track record in the space.
Q: What do you hope to achieve with this collaboration?
One of the many benefits of DeFi is that it offers equal and trusted access to crypto assets that provide future wealth generation.
Partnering with Marhaba DeFi allows us to facilitate our ethos of inclusion, which includes supporting a company that services faith-based, unbanked and retail entities — many of whom for religious or ethical reasons are not able to participate in crypto. Sheesha Finance aims to educate as many people as we can to take part in this new wave of finance for the masses.
Q: Why is it important to advocate for decentralized finance?
For many years, financial institutions have played important roles in structuring economic transactions that would otherwise be difficult to execute due to the overwhelming costs involved. As we move into the digital economy, decentralized finance has become a powerful method of replacing those traditional roles once played by large institutions.
The underlying blockchain technology is capable of eliminating the need for intermediaries in the financial system life-cycle as it can facilitate peer-to-peer transactions through a distributed ledger system, thus putting the power back to the people.
Advocating for this open-source model means more opportunities for the growth of those individuals and organizations who would have otherwise faced large hurdles in obtaining the same opportunities.
Q: Sheesha Finance has quite an engaged community. How have they helped in building your vision for the company?
They have helped by being incredibly vocal about their opinions and ideas. We have encouraged the conversation by having a great group of community admins that do not shy away from productive conversations and are always willing to help community members. We produce engaging content for our community and are always looking for ways to give them value. They notice it and appreciate it.
As a growing project we are constantly launching initiatives to get them involved (e.g. asking what articles they want written, who they want on an AMA, discussions around what happens with the business, and moving to a DAO function in the future to support this further). We are always treating them like a genuine community, speaking to them on a personal level and keeping in touch hourly and daily. This is what has helped us maintain a thriving community. We continue to look to them for insights and keep them at the forefront of our projects.
Q: Any exciting Sheesha Finance project or event that you’re most looking forward to?
Although we have many projects in our diverse portfolio that are fascinating, if I were to pick out one I’m looking forward to, it would be Nebu Exchange.
Nebu is the world’s first gamified cryptocurrency exchange aiming to bring casual gamers and traders into one simple exchange. What is most interesting is the gamification aspect of this project that utilizes avatar customization, quiz competitions and social trading mechanisms to create a sticky environment for users. Stickiness is very important for a long-term successful product, and projects like Nebu have the ability to see the world through customers’ eyes. Coupled with solid token utilities and strong tokenomics, this is one of the most exciting projects that we are looking forward to launch and are happy to have our Sheesha Foundry Incubation and acceleration studio stamp of approval on.
About MRHB DeFi
MRHB DeFi (pronounced ‘Marhaba’) is a halal, decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem platform designed to bring ethics and inclusion to the DeFi space.
Based on the tenets of blockchain such as trust, transparency, and security, MRHB DeFi has encapsulated universally applicable principles of Islamic Finance into those tenets of blockchain to render a suite of offerings that are also ESG compliant.
The project is backed by a diverse and strong team with backgrounds spanning crypto, technology, faith-compliant investing, finance and seasoned institutional veterans of the industry. Read more about MRHB DeFi’s Shariah Concept Paper, Lite and White Paper here.
Your opinions and comments are welcome! If you would like to know more about MRHB DeFi, explore the links below:
MRHB DeFi Official Channels
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