Bahrain’s Al Waha Fund of Funds has announced an undisclosed amount of investment in Beijing-based MSA Capital in its first investment in a Chinese fund.
MSA Capital plans to use Bahrain as its “hub for regional expansion” and to work closely with regulators, entrepreneurs and strategic corporate partners to connect growing companies in the region with capital and best practices in China.
Launched in 2018, Al Waha aims to drive greater venture capital (VC) investment across the Middle East through providing market access for international organisations looking to invest in the region, as well as for portfolio companies looking to expand.
“Al Waha has developed into a strategic as well as a financial partner to funds, as demonstrated by our investment in MSA Capital. Both China and Bahrain offer a substantial pool of tech talent, startup capital and digitally minded consumers, so the scope for further building this relationship is substantial,” said Areije Al Shakar, fund director at Al Waha Fund of Funds. “The Kingdom has acted as a bridge between East and West for thousands of years, but in today’s increasingly digital world the synergies and opportunities are greater than ever before”.
The $250 million Chinese fund claims to have made 10 investments in the Gulf region over the past year, and facilitated exchanges for Chinese and Bahraini entrepreneurs. The firm now plans to build collaborations to include more students and large corporates, as well as investors from both countries for future exchanges.
“We believe the Gulf is at an inflection point due to an influx of seasoned talent, capital, and technology adoption. Chinese pioneered mobile-focused business models, both for enterprise and consumers, are best positioned to provide a roadmap for entrepreneurs in the region,” said Ben Harburg, managing partner of MSA Capital.
We see Bahrain as a hyper-efficient, user-friendly gateway to the Gulf, where we can collaborate with regulators, entrepreneurs, and strategic corporate partners to pilot new business models and serve as a hub for regional expansion.”