In early May, Zain Bahrain partnered with Alkeri to launch a new startup initiative Zainnovate. Zain Bahrain is a leading telecom provider in the region and Alkeri partners is a Bahrain based startup Foundry. Both have come together to support the Bahraini startup ecosystem.
At the launch, both companies showcased Oqal Angel Investors Network; the first angel investor community in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Since its incorporation in 2011, Oqal has grown to build an active Angel investor community of over 350 members across Saudi Arabia, arranged 100 meetings connecting entrepreneurs with Angel investors, overseen more than 300 investment opportunities within its platform and successfully its members investing over SAR40 million in Angel investments within the Saudi startup ecosystem.
The Chairman and Founder of Oqal Saudi Arabia Faris Al-Rashid Al-Humaid, Jamal A. Al-Hazeem Chairman of Alkeri Partners and Khaled Zainalabedin Founder and Managing Director of Alkeri Partners announced a partnership with Oqal Saudi Arabia to setup Oqal’s first regional Chapter outside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Upon incorporation and launch of Oqal Angel Network in Bahrain, the Chapter shall operate within the Zainnovate initiative and platform in partnership with Zain Bahrain. “We are delighted to announce our partnership with Zain Bahrain and Oqal Angel Network – Saudi Arabia to setup Oqal’s first cross border Chapter in the region considering the thriving growth and potential for startups and angel investors in both Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. We truly believe that this partnership will set forth a major milestone towards building future collaboration initiatives benefiting and enhancing cross pollination of both the Saudi and Bahraini startup ecosystems and developing the Angel investing sector being a major funding contributor for early-stage startups,” said Khaled Zainalabedin, Founder and Managing Director of Alkeri Partners.
The event also announced the inauguration of a partnership between Russian Venture Company (RVC) and Alkeri Partners to launch GenerationS Accelerators across the Middle East region with Bahrain being the main headquarters and first Launchpad under the Zainnovate initiative. RVC is the Russian Federation’s venture capital fund of funds managing over 25 backed VC funds with over 200 startup portfolio companies and operates GenerationS Accelerators.
During the event Zainnovate demo day pitch was presented with five leading global and regional startups. One of the startups was Easy Financial Services, a leading Bahraini Fintech biometric payment gateway and Blockchain service provider.
“The new partnership is a continuation of the efforts made by Zain Bahrain to support Bahrain’s vision 2030 as a leading tech and startup hub in the region. Zainnovate initiative was also launched to create strategic platform through partnerships supporting startups in developing an entrepreneurial environment in the Kingdom of Bahrain and providing the necessary support for SME sector projects for them to grow, develop and sustain,” said Abdulla Bin Khalid, Zain Bahrain Director of Communications & Investor Relations.