Al Waha Venture Capital Fund of Funds, managed by Bahrain Development Bank, and international investment firm Hambro Perks have announced the unveiling of HP Spring Studios, the MENA region’s first fintech venture studio. HP Spring Studios, which would be based out of its new headquarters in Manama, Bahrain, signifies a sizable boost for MENA’s fintech and startup environment.
Areije Al Shakar, Director & Fund Manager at Al Waha, noted that the company is delighted to be a part of this initiative which would prove a valuable resource to both local entrepreneurs and communities who would benefit from new fintech solutions in Bahrain. Al Waha was established to assist start-ups overcome challenges over access to funding. HP Spring Studios would considerably improve the region’s fintech ecosystem, not only empowering start-ups, but also assisting to significantly enhance the path people save, provide, operate, and invest their money.
She added Al Waha is thrilled about the prospect of fintech startups in the MENA region and would operate alongside their extensive network and partners to support the next generation of tech entrepreneurs in their expeditions.
Start-ups will operate closely with Al Waha & Hambro Perks
The studio would invest directly into next generation fintech startups with outstanding entrepreneurs. An in-house team encompassing the full capability spectrum throughout product, engineering, and operations will help accelerate start-ups towards product/market fit. Startups will operate closely with Al Waha & Hambro Perks’ local and global network of institutions, including National Bank of Bahrain, Mumtalakat, and Batelco, to drive consumer traction and ensure future funding rounds to exit.
HP Spring Studios is strategically located in Bahrain, where startups will benefit from a fintech affable regulatory ecosystem and close relationships with the Bahrain Economic Development Board and Central Bank of Bahrain, to facilitate quick launch to market. Bahrain would be an idyllic venue to serve the rest of the MENA region.
The studio aims to generate innovative highly skilled jobs in Bahrain for both local and international talent, on both its core team and at the startups it supports to introduce. HP Spring Studios will not only focus on drawing extremely skilled international talent, but also on training local talent through internships, upskilling, and educational programmes in collaboration with local associations.
Dominic Perks, Chief Executive at Hambro Perks, mentioned that the prospect for entrepreneurs to build fintech solutions to help focus on the MENA region’s tasks has never been more persuasive. Elevated barriers to access have been regulating the potential for innovation. HP Spring Studios occurs to solve for the challenges experienced by founders in the region. Once portfolio startups are prepared to scale, Hambro Perks and the studio and will bring in trusted global co-investors to the Bahrain-based operational firms, not only creating additional jobs, but also enabling capital inflows and drawing further talent and investors to Bahrain.
With the unveiling of the new studio, Hambro Perks will be an active member of Bahrain’s fintech environment, financing, expanding talent, taking part in events, and supporting Bahrain as an investment destination.
The Middle East fintech ecosystem is emerging rapidly and the market has perceived an inflow of start-ups and financing assistance in the sector in the last several months. The number of fintech companies is projected to achieve 465 in the region this year, higher as of 30 in 2017.