The largest fintech hub in the MENA region has officially commenced operations, welcoming 28 founding partners, including some of the largest Islamic financial institutions in the Kingdom.
Eight Islamic financial institutions will support the newly-launched Bahrain Fintech Bay (BFB) with their resources and network to position the Kingdom as a premier fintech center to capture regional opportunities. The eight, Al Baraka Banking Group, Al Salam Bank, Arcapita, Bahrain Islamic Bank, GFH, Ithmaar Bank, Investcorp and Kuwait Finance House, join another 20 founding partners from the sectors of payments, banking, investment management and financial technology.
“BFB will play a central role in growing the supportive ecosystem that is necessary for innovation to thrive. The facilitation of co-working and incubation, combined with Bahrain’s regulatory sandbox and focus on opening up access to funding, is creating an ideal environment for start-ups and corporates to test and then scale across the region,” Khalid Al Rumaihi, CEO of the Economic Development Board of Bahrain (EDB), said.
Launched by the EDB in partnership with FinTech Consortium, a fintech incubator and ecosystem builder with presence in London and Singapore (and now Bahrain), the BHB, located in the Arcapita Building in Manama, houses state-of-the art facilities, co-working spaces, communal areas, workstations, hot desks and a variety of other shared infrastructure. Several international start-ups have already taken root in BFB including US-based wealth management platform RobustWealth, online property marketplace Offrbox and non-credit rating agency Sigma Ratings as well as Jordanian artificial intelligence-powered chatbot platform Labiba.