Bahrain Development Bank Closes US$100 Million Al Waha Fund To Support MENA Startups
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Indicating a boost for the ecosystem, Bahrain Development Bank (BDB) has successfully closed its US$100 million venture capital “fund of funds” to support startups in Bahrain and across the MENA region. The Al Waha "fund of funds" is a definite mark for the growth of entrepreneurship in the region as it aims to support by providing capital to Bahraini startups, as well as attracting new funds in the region.
Last week, the Limited Partners (LPs) Advisory Committee met to strategize the fund’s direction and allocation of $35 million into a series of venture funds. Its LP's include Mumtalakat, National Bank of Bahrain, Batelco Group, Tamkeen and Bahrain Development Bank, among others, with BDB as the General Partner (GP) managing the fund.
Following the closure of the fund, H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa, Chairman of the Al Waha Fund of Funds Advisory Committee commented on the progress made in the allocation of the capital raised. “One of the key constraints on the development of the startup and technology ecosystem in the region is lack of access to capital. This fund can help to make a significant difference to that challenge, enabling entrepreneurs to realize the potential of their ideas.”
With the Al Waha Fund of Funds along with the opening of fintech co-working space FinTech Bay and regulatory sandbox for fintech ventures to test out their concepts, entrepreneurs, the time is ripe to leverage initiatives enabling entrepreneurship.