Bahrain Economic Development Board launches Beehive, a debt-based crowdfunding platform
The Economic Development Board of Bahrain (EDB) and Beehive today announced the launch of Beehive, a debt-based crowdfunding platform, in Bahrain which will open up new funding avenues for SMEs and help drive innovation across the Kingdom and region.
Beehive, launched in Dubai in 2014, is MENA’s first regulated peer to peer lending platform and one of the region’s leading fintech pioneers. It uses innovative crowdfunding technology to eliminate the cost and complexity of conventional finance by connecting businesses directly with investors. The result is a more efficient, streamlined process that gives businesses faster access to lower cost loans and investors better returns on their money and diversified risk.
On this occasion, Mr. Khalid Hamad, Executive Director of Banking Supervision at the CBB, commented: “We welcome Beehive’s decision for selecting Bahrain to establish the first financing-based crowdfunding platform operator, which is a step forward in promoting the SMEs and start-ups via facilitating the link to the investors for securing the required financing. The license, which is the first of its kind in the Kingdom, is a reflection of the CBB’s continuous efforts in providing an optimal mix of policies and products to improve the quality and competitiveness of services in the financial sector.”
Dalal Buhejji – Business Development, Financial Services, Bahrain Economic Development Board, commented: “We are delighted to welcome Beehive to Bahrain, which has long recognised the importance of entrepreneurship as a high-potential driver of economic diversification and growth. Access to finance is an essential element of any start-up ecosystem and crowdsourcing has a significant role to play as additional source of funding for businesses that have previously been dependent on bank finance. Beehive will also create a new route for investors to gain exposure to the growth in the Kingdom’s SMEs, complementing existing platforms such as the Bahrain Investment Market, which is tailored to fast-growing businesses.”
Craig Moore, Beehive CEO commented: “We’re delighted to collaborate with EDB to bring the Beehive platform to Bahrain, offering pioneering businesses fast, affordable alternative finance. Our mission aligns with the Kingdom’s vision and strategy to assist the growth of SMEs, supporting them through improved access to finance, which is crucial to their development and success.”
Beehive’s launch in Bahrain follows new regulation issued by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) in 2017 to enable both conventional and Shari’a compliant financing-based crowdfunding for small and medium sized businesses. Under the CBB regulation, Bahrain-based Peer-to-Businesses crowdfunding platforms are able to fund startups and SMEs in Bahrain as well as regionally and internationally.