Al Waha Fund Of Funds And Hambro Perks Launch A Fintech Venture Studio In Manama
HP Spring Studios is expected significantly enhance the region's fintech ecosystem, as well as improve the way people save, send, lend, manage, and invest their money.
Bahrain Development Bank's Al Waha Fund of Funds and international investment firm Hambro Perks have announced the launch of HP Spring Studios, billed as the MENA region's first fintech venture studio.
Based out Manama, Bahrain, HP Spring Studios will both co-found and invest directly into next generation fintech startups. It will focus on attracting highly skilled international talent and also on training local talent through upskilling, internships, and educational initiatives in partnership with local institutions.
Areije Al Shakar, Director and Fund Manager at Al Waha, expects that both local and international entrepreneurs will benefit from a fintech friendly regulatory environment in Bahrain and its close relationships with the Central Bank of Bahrain and Bahrain Economic Development Board.
"There are many problems to solve within fintech in the region, and my first tip would be to take advantage of the forward-thinking regulatory framework in Bahrain and the other regulators across the region," Al Shakar says. "There is strong investor sentiment and belief in the growth of this regional market, so take the leap forward and start your business. There has never been a better time to be in fintech, especially after COVID-19 accelerated the uptake and acceptance of fintech solutions. The support is there, entrepreneurs need to take the leap."
Startups will work closely with Al Waha and Hambro Perks' local and global network of private and public institutions, including National Bank of Bahrain, Mumtalakat, and Batelco, to drive customer traction and secure future funding rounds to exit.
Al Shakar added that while Al Waha Fund of Funds was founded to help startups overcome challenges around access to funding, HP Spring Studios is expected significantly enhance the region's fintech ecosystem, "not only empowering startups, but also helping to materially improve the way people save, send, lend, manage, and invest their money."