Bahraini venture capital fund launched

Venture Capital Bank has launched a $15m fund to invest in SMEs and start-ups in the Bahrain, one of the first of its kind for the kingdom.

Venture Capital Bank, a Bahrain-based investment bank, has launched a $15 million (€9.5 million) venture capital fund to invest in Bahrain, it confirmed. The Venture Capital Fund Bahrain will make investments in start-ups and in small and medium enterprises in Bahrain.

According to daily paper Bahrain Tribune the Venture Capital Fund Bahrain is the first in a series of funds that will be launched to target opportunities in SMEs in Bahrain and other MENA countries. The fund will invest between $250,000 and $3 million per transaction Abdullatif Mohammed Janahi, chief executive officer of Venture Capital Bank, said.

Janahi told the paper: “We are already in talks with partners in Oman, Jordan and Tunisia to roll out such funds aimed at creating a strong platform for the start-up businesses. We are also working closely with the United Nation Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) to identify the potential for the SMEs across the MENA region.” The bank is also looking for opportunities in the major Middle Eastern markets of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The venture capital fund, one of the first in the country, will invest only in sharia-compliant companies throughout all sectors.

Formed in 2005, Venture Capital Bank also co-manages the MENA Small and Medium Enterprises Fund I, which was launched in 2006 in partnership with Global Emerging Markets, a US private equity firm.