Aspiration, celebrity-backed US fintech, expands to Abu Dhabi

Aspiration, celebrity-backed US fintech, expands to Abu Dhabi 

Aspiration Inc. will open offices at Abu Dhabi Global Market as part of Access Abu Dhabi, the business expansion programme that is also supporting the expansion of Deepak Chopra, Tyra Banks, Patrice Evra, and Metta World Peace’s businesses to Abu Dhabi.

California-based fintech company Aspiration Inc., backed by such powerhouses as Oaktree Capital Management and affiliates of former Microsoft Corp CEO Steve Balmer in addition to environmentalists and Hollywood icons Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert Downey Jr, announced today that the company will be setting up offices at Abu Dhabi Global Markets.

Aspiration is being supported by Access Abu Dhabi, the business expansion programme by Maven Global Access and supported by Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), which serves as a conduit to fast-track entry to the burgeoning UAE capital. The announcement was made today during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, where Vinoda Basnayake, President of Aspiration MENA discussed the company’s ambitious plans for the region. Aspiration is a purpose-driven climate action company that offers large and small enterprises, governments, investors, and consumers access to a portfolio of high-quality carbon assets through innovative products, services, and investments that drive climate action. 

Aspiration aims to serve as a sustainability partner for the UAE ahead of the country hosting COP28, the UN’s annual climate change summit taking place this November and December. Aspiration’s world-class carbon programme manages one of the world’s largest inventory of premium tree planting and carbon reduction portfolios that collectively accelerate global decarbonisation and deliver tangible environmental and social impact at scale. 

“Abu Dhabi is one of the world’s most forward-thinking and climate-smart cities. We are excited about the opportunity to develop partnerships here with the support of Access Abu Dhabi and ADIO.” stated Vinoda Basnayake, President of Aspiration MENA. “Aspiration is the sustainability partner to some of the most recognised names in the globe ranging from corporations such as Meta and Deloitte to professional sports franchises the Los Angeles Clippers and the Boston Red Sox. We are excited to expand to the UAE and are looking forward to providing similar carbon mitigation solutions at scale here as well.”

The UAE has set out an ambitious plan to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 and will invest $163.5 billion (AED 600 billion) in renewable energy to deliver sustainable economic growth. ADIO partners with innovative companies capable of accelerating the UAE’s road to net zero by developing and commercialising technology and services across a range of sectors. In 2022, ADIO supported through its Innovation Programme Siemens Energy AG to set up its Middle East Innovation Centre in Abu Dhabi, focused on developing clean energy technologies. In the AgTech sector, Abu Dhabi has made significant headway in “turning the desert green” through ADIO’s support for innovators pioneering desert agriculture solutions.

Eng. Abdulla Abdul Aziz AlShamsi, Acting Director General of ADIO, said: “As the UAE gets ready to host COP28, we are focused equally on achieving our net-zero goal while developing globally relevant solutions. Aspiration Inc. offers a pioneering solution for business and individuals to achieve their climate goals and we are delighted to welcome them to our ecosystem. Abu Dhabi is a global hub for green energy, finance and technology that is ready to partner with innovation-driven companies like Aspiration Inc. to make a global impact.”

Dhaher bin Dhaher Al Mheiri, CEO of ADGM Authority, said: “As the international financial centre that has achieved a carbon-neutral status and has a forward-looking and innovative approach to sustainability, we always look forward to onboarding purpose-driven climate action organisations such as Aspiration Inc. that advance environmental goals through similar beliefs and strategies. The opportunities within the global carbon market are already evolving and we are ecstatic about the value-add Aspiration Inc. will bring to businesses, investors, government, and government-affiliated bodies to strengthen the green economy of Abu Dhabi, the UAE and the MEASA region, especially with COP28 upcoming later this year.”

Aspiration Inc. credits its upcoming expansion into Abu Dhabi to the support of the Maven Global Access Abu Dhabi initiative. The ADIO-supported programme founded by American expat to the UAE Sarah Omolewu is also responsible for fast-tracking the business pursuits of Deepak Chopra, Manchester United former captain Patrice Evra and Los Angeles Lakers legend Metta World Peace to Abu Dhabi. “Aspiration Inc. has been a pioneer in the business of climate action for the past decade. Their expertise will play a key role in supporting Abu Dhabi’s ambitious plans of being a world leader in sustainability,” stated Omolewu. 


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