Al Waha Fund of Funds strengthens regional VC funding by investing in BY Venture Partners

Press Release.

Bahrain’s Al Waha Fund of Funds (Al Waha) has announced a new investment in MENA-based BY Venture Partners (BY). The new partnership aims to bridge the gap between startups in Bahrain and the MENA region and global markets while bringing BY’s expertise to the region’s digital transformation. 

The BY Fund II target fund size is $50 million and aims to help MENA startups expand globally while bringing international companies to the region. As former founders themselves, BY brings experience in innovation, entrepreneurship, investment, and ecosystem development. 

BY is working with several private and institutional investors across the region, including Mubadala Capital based in the UAE, Al Waha, and Tamar Capital. With the Al Waha partnership, BY has developed a detailed ecosystem support program for startups in Bahrain, in addition to providing coaching, mentorship, and connecting Bahraini startups with a global network of advisors and investors. Furthermore, the venture fund will be able to share insights on how to grow ecosystems and connect them to the international scene through the team’s expertise and extensive experience. In addition, BY will collaborate with Al Waha’s group of LPs on direct co-investment opportunities. 

BY is a global venture investor that has been investing in MENA since 2015 and has built a network that spans a large amount of key MENA corporates, sovereign wealth funds, and family offices. The venture fund is backed by a large network of operators and leading industry groups in MENA and has recently moved its head office to Hub71 in Abu Dhabi, further strengthening the bridge between the region and global markets.

New investments made through BY have capitalised on the accelerating tech trends disrupting industries such as retail, financial services, food-tech, mobility, healthcare and more. The fund aims to back companies that will help fuel the region’s innovative transformation across industries that have been impacted by the pandemic.

Areije Al Shakar, Fund Director at Al Waha Fund of Funds, said: “Our investment in BY Venture Partners bridges the gap between startups in Bahrain and the MENA region and global markets, offering mentorship and networking opportunities in addition to a collaborative ecosystem. With a business-friendly environment and substantial amount of tech talent, Bahrain is attracting worldwide interest as a digital innovation hub in the region.”

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Abdallah Yafi, Co-founder and Managing Partner at BY Venture Partners, said: “We’ve reached a tipping point for tech investments in MENA and this is a fascinating time for startups in the Middle East. Bahrain has become an attractive destination for founders today and we’ve seen strong companies across industries emerge as winners from the Bahraini ecosystem. At BY, we are looking forward to collaborating with the Al Waha team on supporting local founders and fueling the digital transformation in the region.”

The Kingdom of Bahrain offers an innovative startup ecosystem that enables founders to grow and scale their solutions in an atmosphere of pro-business regulation and strong partnerships. With its unique positioning and connectivity to the Gulf region, the Kingdom is an ideal destination for businesses to expand and develop their solutions. 

Al Waha has invested over 60% of its total fund investment to a range of local and global venture capitalists, including BECO Capital, Middle East Venture Partners, 500 Startups, Finch Capital, MSA Capital, Shorooq Partners and more. The investments are essential to scale Middle East companies and enable a region that drives innovation.

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