Bahrain Launches Region’s First Fintech Venture Studio, HP Spring Studios – My Startup World

Al Waha Fund of Funds, managed by Bahrain Development Bank, and international investment firm Hambro Perks announced the launch of HP Spring Studios, the first fintech venture capital studio in the MENA region. HP Spring Studios, which will be based from its new headquarters in Manama, Bahrain, represents a significant boost for the fintech and startup ecosystem in the MENA region.

Areije Al Shakar, Director and Fund Manager at Al Waha, said, “We are proud to be part of this initiative which will prove to be a valuable resource for local entrepreneurs and communities who will benefit from new fintech solutions in Bahrain. Al Waha was founded to help startups overcome challenges in accessing finance. HP Spring Studios will dramatically improve 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.

She added “We are excited about the future of fintech startups in the MENA region and look forward to working alongside our partners and our extensive network to support the next generation of tech entrepreneurs on their journeys.”

The studio will co-found and invest directly in next-gen fintech startups with exceptional entrepreneurs. An in-house team spanning the full spectrum of product, engineering, and operations capabilities will help accelerate startups toward product/market fit. The startups will work closely with Al Waha & Hambro Perks’ local and global network of private and public institutions, including National Bank of Bahrain, Mumtalakat and Batelco, to drive customer base and secure future funding rounds for the exit.

HP Spring Studios is strategically located in Bahrain, where startups will benefit from a favorable fintech regulatory environment and close relationships with the Central Bank of Bahrain and the Bahrain Economic Development Board, to enable rapid market launch. Bahrain will also act as an ideal location to serve the rest of the MENA region.

The studio aims to create new, highly skilled jobs in Bahrain for local and international talent, both in its core team and in the startups it helps launch. HP Spring Studios will focus not only on attracting highly skilled international talent, but also on nurturing local talent through upgrading, internships, and educational initiatives in partnership with local institutions.

Dominic Perks, Managing Director of Hambro Perks

Dominic Perks, Managing Director of Hambro Perks, said: “The opportunity for entrepreneurs to develop fintech solutions to help address challenges in the MENA region has never been more compelling. To date, high barriers to entry have limited the potential for innovation. HP Spring Studios exists to solve the problems faced by founders in the region. Once portfolio startups are ready to scale, the studio and Hambro Perks will bring trusted global co-investors to Bahrain-based operating companies, not only creating new jobs, but also facilitating capital inflows and attracting more talent and investors to Bahrain.

With the launch of the new studio, Hambro Perks will be an active member of Bahrain’s fintech ecosystem, investing, developing talent, participating in events and promoting Bahrain as an investment destination.

The Middle East fintech ecosystem is growing rapidly and the market has seen an influx of startups and funding into the sector in recent months. The number of fintech companies is expected to reach 465 in the region this year, up from 30 in 2017.