Picture this: The repeated thud of footsteps reverberating across the empty streets of Dubai. The sun rising above towering skyscrapers. A partial lockdown still in effect.
No, this isn’t the opening scene of the next post-apocalyptic blockbuster. It's where the Verity story first began, with Kamal Al-Samarrai out on his daily morning run. We’re told that’s when he does his best thinking.
On this particular day in December of 2020, Kamal found himself mentally rattling off a multitude of life’s big questions. Why am I still struggling financially, why am I worrying about how long I can last without money coming in, and why am I panicking about my children’s financial security?
It was then that he realized the answer to all of these questions was simply that he was never actually taught how to manage, save or invest his money.
In fact, it wasn’t something that his parents ever talked to him or his brother about.
Having recently become a father, Kamal knew this wasn’t a situation he wanted his children to ever contend with. After extensive research to find a solution, it became abundantly clear that it just didn’t exist in the region.
GoHenry and Greenlight were gaining traction in the UK and US, but tech that supported financial literacy for kids in the Middle East was still relatively nascent. There was an incredible opportunity here. Building a family banking and financial literacy app tailored to parents and kids in the region became the dream.
However, to bring this to life and really make it a success, Kamal needed the right partners on board.
Enter, Omar Al Sharif. Omar spent the majority of his career working with leading venture capital firms and accelerator programs in the region. Coincidentally, he was gearing up to begin his own entrepreneurial journey.
When Kamal pitched the idea to Omar, the decision to join forces was almost instantaneous. In fact, he says it was probably the quickest decision he’s ever made.
Having worked with and advised some of the most promising start-ups in the Middle East, not only could he anticipate the challenges Verity might face along the way (and how to overcome them), he also knew exactly how to build a product that would bring real value, and a brand that would resonate. Omar would soon become the architect behind the Verity platform.
But there was still an essential ingredient missing. There could be no financial literacy app without a financial literacy expert.
As luck would have it, just 24 hours before entering into this exciting new project Omar had reconnected with an old friend and industry colleague over a casual, and arguably quite random, Zoom call. What did they discuss? You guessed it – the pressing need for greater financial education in the region.
The final piece of the Verity puzzle came in the form of that same friend – Dina Shoman.
A former banker and serial entrepreneur, Dina had previously founded financial literacy-focused ventures in the US and Jordan.
Not only did she bring an unlimited supply of passion for financial education, but she had also spent years thoroughly studying the landscape and working closely with educational and child development experts to understand exactly what kind of information kids could absorb, at what stage, and how to build unique curricula herself.
A short phone call with her now co-founders, and Dina was officially part of the team. Was it serendipity? Perhaps. But when you know, you know.
Verity was born
Kamal, Omar and Dina are firm believers that financial education must start young, and it always starts at home. This has truly formed the basis of what Verity stands for: A family banking app.
Verity the App was born. An app that offers a safe and secure environment for parents to guide their children’s experiences with money. One that is fun, gamified, and educational.
With their powers combined, the co-founders have worked tirelessly together with the support of an amazing tech and marketing team as well as incredible investors and partners who share their values. Together, they have built a platform that just launched as the first family banking app for kids in teens in the UAE.
So we invite you, our readers, supporters and members of our wonderful community, to join us in our mission. Teach your kids early, what you learned late!The sequence of events of how Verity story began may seem coincidental to the outside world - but the stars must have definitely been aligned in its favor.