Singaporean Blockchain venture fund and Cardano accelerator, Adaverse, with offices in KSA, UAE, has strategically invested in Sorbet, a Saudi Arabian startup geared towards helping freelancers to manage and transact with clients. Sorbet uses Circle Payment services, better known as stablecoin USDC to help clients and freelancers carry out instant payments.

The investment, part of a $10 million initiative to foster venture-building in the region, aligns with the economic upswing projected for the region’s digital economy.

The MENA digital freelance market is currently values at $4 billion and while expected to grow it faces inefficient payments systems which according to the press release affects 40 million self employed workers.

Sorbet’s vision is to onboard all creatives onto web3 by removing the technical barriers traditionally associated with dApps. The tool leverages blockchain technology to provide a seamless payment solution using stablecoins.

Rami Djebari, co-founder of Sorbet, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership: “Receiving support from an experienced partner like Adaverse will accelerate our development and enhance our market strategy. This collaboration is a milestone in breaking down financial barriers and enabling limitless growth opportunities for professionals in the region.”

Sorbet Beta will further refine the freelancing experience by integrating project management tools and streamlined payment processes. As per Sorbet website, it charges 2.5% when clients send money to freelancers.

Vincent Li, founding partner at Adaverse, commented on the investment stating, “Sorbet exemplifies the potential of blockchain to enrich and enhance economic systems. We are excited about the potential Sorbet holds for economic upliftment in line with Saudi Vision 2030.”

The Sorbet Beta, launching this May, will introduce essential features to improve the freelancing experience. This suite of work tools will focus on streamlining project management, simplifying payment processes, and facilitating better client interactions, all designed to help freelancers transition smoothly into a more connected and efficient digital workspace.

In March 2024, Adaverse, signed an MOU with Saudi based ASFA Ventures to drive Web3 innovation in KSA and beyond. Adaverse has also invested in Saudi Arabian Blockchain Insurtech startup TAKADAO, in addition to Nuqtah NFT marketplace.

In a recent survey carried out by Deel, a global HR platform within the GCC and MENA region, the findings found that 51% of employees being paid in crypto prefer Ethereum

Employee cryptocurrency withdrawals within the GCC highlighted a growing level of adoption among individuals, who are now using cryptocurrencies as a viable medium for receiving employer payments. Conducting an extensive survey, Deel engaged with over 1600 employees and over 700 organizations in the UAE to gather valuable insights.

Of the 700 organizations surveyed in the UAE, 87% of employees were using crypto for salary payments. Of the 1600 employees surveyed only 8% were being paid in crypto in KSA while in Qatar it was 4.8%.

Exploring the Deel data beyond the UAE, Egypt places itself in the spotlight by a substantial margin, witnessing over 25,000 employee withdrawals using crypto in the last 12 months. Tracking Egypt’s trajectory, the roster of pioneering nations also includes Morocco, and Lebanon, each carving its path towards cryptocurrency adoption.

Notably, Ethereum (ETH) claims the top spot as the preferred cryptocurrency for withdrawals, commanding 51.2%. The US Dollar backed stablecoin USDC follows suit at 24.5%, while Bitcoin (BTC) controls 20.2% of the landscape. Solana (SOL) and Dash wrap up the top five most used cryptocurrencies with 2.5% and 1.6%, respectively, contributing to the crypto withdrawals landscape.

Tarek Salam, Head of Expansion from Deel, stated, “The Deel research provides an interesting window on the latest trends within the employment sector. It is truly great to witness the rapid surge in cryptocurrency adoption within the UAE and the wider region. The regulators have played a commendable role in encouraging greater participation in the cryptocurrency ecosystem and it’s a trend that we will be watching with interest as adoption continues to grow.”

Deel is a leading global compliance and payroll solution that helps businesses hire anyone, anywhere. Deel’s technology offers unmatched payroll, HR, compliance, perks, benefits, and other capabilities needed to hire and manage a global team.

Dubai developer MAG is accepting stablecoins in property transactions utilizing the services offered by Bahrain-based crypto company CoinMENA. Stablecoins USDT and USDC will now be accepted by MAG in response to investor demand, the developer said.

Talal Moafaq Al Gaddah, senior executive vice chairman of MAG, which recently announced an $817 million “bio living” residential development in Meydan, Dubai,stated, “As a catalyst for Dubai’s real estate industry, we will spare no effort to progress upon the emirate’s digital economy and consolidate its prominent global position.”

This is the second real estate developer to team up CoinMENA. Last month it partnered with Carlton Real Estate, a Bahrain-based real estate agency, allowing investors to purchase real estate property using crypto assets. Under the partnership, the real estate broker would accept stablecoins like USDT and USDC.

 Talal Tabbaa and Dina Sam’an, founders of CoinMENA, a crypto asset service provider, said the agreement showed the growth of crypto adoption in acquiring ‘real world’ assets.

Bahrain regulated CoinMENA, a crypto asset service provider – category 3 license holder has partnered with Carlton Real Estate, a Bahrain-based real estate agency, that allows investors in the Kingdom to purchase real estate property using crypto assets. Under the partnership, the leading Bahrain-based real estate broker will accept stablecoins like USDT and USDC.

CoinMENA is a leading crypto asset service provider – category 3 that is regulated and licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain, serving the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The trading platform allows retail and institutional investors access to digital assets investments and directly connects their bank accounts with their CoinMENA wallets to facilitate quick and frictionless money transfers.

 Carlton Real Estate, a Bahrain-based company established in 1996, is a certified broker with a RERA-Bahrain license and offers a wide range of real estate services to corporate and individual clients throughout the Kingdom of Bahrain.

“We are pleased to diversify the payment options for our customers, as we always strive to keep pace with the best modern technologies in terms of management, financing, and brokerage. We are proud to be the first real estate brokerage company in the Kingdom to accept crypto asset transactions for property purchases and other real estate services through our partnership with CoinMENA – the crypto asset service provider licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain” said Ali Adnan Mahmood, Deputy Managing Director of Carlton Real Estate. 

CoinMENA Founders Talal Tabbaa and Dina Sam’an commented in a joint statement, “We are delighted to partner with one of the leading real estate brokerage companies in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Carlton Real Estate, to facilitate transactions via cryptocurrencies. As adoption continues to grow in the region, we see significant opportunities to use cryptocurrencies to purchase real-world assets. Crucially, this partnership also signals to the market that cryptocurrencies are maturing and gaining mainstream acceptance as a viable medium of exchange.