UAE-headquartered Shorooq Partners has launched a new office in Bahrain, headed by partner Samir Yamani. The new office is the fifth location for the rapidly expanding VC which has built a presence in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Pakistan as well as the UAE.
Driven by a strategy based on building long-term relationships with both investors and startups across the Kingdom, the new Shorooq Partners Bahrain headquarters is based within Bahrain Fintech Bay (BFB). This location will allow the VC to interact directly with institutional investors, BFB resident FinTech startups and provide first-hand opportunities for mentorship and investment.
The opening of the new office follows Shorooq’s acquisition of Bahrain-based investment and advisory firm Autarky Capital earlier this year. Shorooq acquired Autarky Capital in order to provide a suite of products that follow the funding journey of a startup in the GCC and the wider MENAP region (Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan), and to expand Shorooq’s alternative financing capabilities.
Bahrain’s Al Waha Fund of Funds, set up to drive greater venture capital investment in the Middle East, invested in Shorooq Partners in 2020. The investment was a result of Shorooq’s active support of the next wave of innovative startups – such as Pure Harvest, an agri-tech startup that has raised an impressive $60 million during the first half of 2021, having mastered the technology for controlling climates inside their farms to grow fruits and vegetables in the deserts of the UAE and Saudi; or TruKKer, the leading logistics aggregator in the region, which also has operations throughout MENAP, including Bahrain.
Shorooq Partners is the only VC fund to receive funding from all sovereign wealth funds in the GCC, as well as Jordan, and the only GCC fund manager to receive investment from the Korean sovereign wealth fund Korea Venture Investment Corporation (KVIC) along with other top tier investors.
“This is a tremendously exciting time for Shorooq Partners to be opening in Bahrain. This market, MENA and the wider Asia-Pacific region are replete with investment opportunity right now. Bahrain’s strengths as an investment and innovation hub with exceptional talent and potential for growth, coupled with Al Waha’s continuous support and backing, made Manama the obvious choice for our next regional office. With a physical presence here in the Kingdom, we are looking forward to working directly with founders to empower the next wave of early-stage tech startups in Bahrain and abroad”, said Yamani.
Areije Al Shakar, Fund Director at Al Waha Fund of Funds, said, “We are proud to partner with Shorooq Partners as a regional VC firm that invests in MENA’s most dynamic sectors such as FinTech and software. We look forward to supporting the next phase of growth – while providing the local ecosystem with greater access to funding and opportunities to grow their businesses from Bahrain. This expansion is a testament to Bahrain’s business-friendly policies and its growing reputation as an attractive investment option for international VCs.”
Al Waha has so far deployed funding to a range of venture capitalists, including BECO Capital, Middle East Venture Partners, 500 Startups, VentureSouq and European fund manager Finch Capital, as part of its drive to pool capital from East and West to better bridge markets around the world.