An immensely successful Q1 saw a diverse range of innovative businesses entering the Kingdom with the support of Team Bahrain. The momentum did not let up in Q2, with the EDB continuing to provide assistance to companies across a number of sectors as they sought to set up or expand in the Kingdom. We’re delighted to present some of the highlights below:
The last quarter has been packed with success and exciting developments for Bahrain FinTech Bay, its partners and tenants. Highlights included partnering with both Visa and Mastercard to further develop Bahrain’s FinTech ecosystem, conducting its inaugural FinTech talent programme in partnership with Georgetown University and launching offices in Silicon Valley.
Only granted commercial registration in April, Aion Digital is already one of Bahrain’s leading FinTech platforms. Headquartered in the Kingdom, the mobile banking platform is seeking to expand both locally and throughout the region. Aion Digital leads the way in collaborating with other FinTech partners and innovators to leverage new technologies and frameworks such as open banking, account aggregation and data enrichment and analysis. Just in May it entered into a partnership with the Open Bank Project, which promises to provide Bahrain’s banks with a secure and rapid ecosystem for future FinTech development and collaboration.
The first company to graduate from the Central Bank of Bahrain’s (CBB) Regulatory Sandbox in 2018, open banking pioneer Tarabut Gateway has gone from strength to strength. A subsidiary of AlMoayyed Technologies in partnership with Silicon Valley-based firm Token, Tarabut Gateway is Bahrain’s only licensed open banking payment initiation and account information service provider. It was instrumental as a case study for the introduction of open banking in Bahrain and the CBB open banking mandate, which came into force in June.
Indian IT consulting company JK Technosoft has this Q2 established their regional headquarters, JKT GCC, in Bahrain. The company aims to equip businesses with a competitive edge by delivering sustainable, next generation disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, RPA, IoT and blockchain. JKT GCC plans to recruit more than 30 staff over the next 3 years with a focus on engaging and upskilling local Bahraini talent for future job assignments in the region.
Indian IT and Business Solutions company Innosoft Solutions opened its Bahrain office this Q2 to act as its regional delivery centre. Due to their close work with and focus on the financial sector, Innosoft Solutions Bahrain are currently based in Bahrain FinTech Bay.
French legal tech startup NoPaperPost joined the string of international ICT firms entering the Bahrain market in Q2, 2019. The software company employs blockchain to provide cloud-based, electronic contract signing, document filing and email tracking (Electronic Registered Mail) services. With six employees in their Paris headquarters, NoPaperPost is planning to recruit 17 employees (including 10 high quality jobs) in Bahrain over the next 3 years.
Q2 saw some exciting developments in the real estate sector too, including the completion of Catamaran Towers – a mixed-use development in the heart of Manama’s upscale Seef district. The primarily residential blocks, which will also include retail and FnB units are the second and largest development from Al Yal Real Estate Company W.L.L. The first tower contains 311 residential units which are all listed for sale, while the second has 271 units intended solely for rent.
Jarir Bookstore, one the largest retail stores in the GCC, announced in April that it will open its first branch in Bahrain. The new branch will anchor a project now under construction by First Bahrain Real Estate Development Company (First Bahrain) in Manama’s Seef District. First Bahrain develops and manages real estate properties in the State of Kuwait and internationally.
Aylan and Dylan is a Bahrain-based real estate development firm that completed the final stages of setting up its business in June. Focused on the development, construction and sale of real estate, as well as the trade of building materials, the company designs luxury properties in the Kingdom. It boasts a staff of seasoned professionals with expertise in technology and business.
Online travel services company Ejazah.com is a subsidiary of Fursan Travel, Saudi Arabia’s leading travel services company. Back in 2018 Fursan moved Ejazah’s headquarters to Bahrain, attracted by the competitive business costs, highly skilled workforce and supportive regulatory landscape for both tech and tourism. The final stages of setting up the business were completed this June. The company, which offers both business and leisure travel services in the Gulf and globally, has ambitions to become one of the world’s leading global online travel platforms over the next five years.