Saudi Aramco’s Entrepreneurship Arm Wa’ed Partners with Bahrain’s OQAL Angel Investors Network
An MOU signed between the two hopes to diversify the ecosystems in both KSA and Bahrain, while pushing startup investments.
Wa’ed, Saudi Armaco’s entrepreneurship arm, and OQAL Angel Investors Network, an early-stage investment group in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that aims to help proliferate startup investments in both countries.
As per the agreement, OQAL will be responsible for channeling impactful startups with promising ideas to Wa’ed Ventures, the investment arm of Wa’ed. The partnership between these two organisations will play a critical role in the development of a robust startup ecosystem with solid financial backing availability that highlights and invests in startups that are committed to shaping the region’s economic future.
“We are pleased to announce this collaboration with OQAL, which has pioneered angel investing in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain,” said Wassim Basrawi, the Wa’ed Managing Director. "This is the first in a series of efforts by Wa’ed that aim to increase the intensity of our investment activity in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.”
Wa’ed was established in 2011 as a leading entrepreneurship center to support Saudi-based startups as the country was focusing on diversifying its economic portfolio. Almost a decade later, Wa'ed has invested in many successful Saudi startups such as drone maker, FalconViz, and AI platform, Hazen.ai. They currently focus on investing and backing companies that can become vendors to Aramco and their supply chain partners. The partnership with OQAL is a first of its kind and will help Wa’ed locate and back the best the ecosystem has to offer in not only Saudi Arabia but also Bahrain.
Khaled Zainalabedin, the President and Founder of OQAL in Bahrain, said: “We are very excited about this collaboration, which opens doors for Bahraini entrepreneurs and Bahraini start-ups to a significant source and access to both financial and business support as they expand their presence and operations across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.”
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Feb 20, 2024