Al Waha invests in LionBird III $85m health-focused fund
Al Waha Fund of Funds is investing in LionBird III, an $85 million digital health-focused fund. Al Waha Fund is partnering with LionBird based on the team's track record of success helping startups access the burgeoning US healthcare market.
The partnership between Al Waha Fund and LionBird could also lead to more Israeli companies choosing Bahrain as the location for their Middle East headquarters as they seek to leverage Al Waha Fund’s unique platform of value creation.
Tel Aviv-based LionBird is a US focused digital health fund that specialises in seed-stage venture capital and via this partnership will seek to also aid Bahraini and GCC startups in navigating the complex US healthcare market and connecting with the right experts and partners.
“We are very pleased to be able to partner with LionBird in its latest fund and to help startups in the region access advice on digital health best practices, and support in penetrating the lucrative US healthcare market,” commented HE Khalid Al Rumaihi, CEO of Mumtalakat and Vice Chairman of Al Waha Fund. “There are significant opportunities for the region’s startups in international markets, but the lack of access to capital remains a significant challenge for entrepreneurs. Al Waha offers state-backed capital to funds to help support entrepreneurs to establish and scale their companies. In doing so, we are helping to accelerate the development of a vibrant startup and venture capital ecosystem in the Middle East.”
The US currently spends around 17 percent of its GDP on healthcare, around twice as much than most other developed countries. Following the pandemic, the US healthcare market is undergoing significant shifts, which are opening new opportunities for startups.
There is a greater focus on health-tech startups as the sector pivots towards outpatient services and solutions such as telemedicine. It is estimated that digital startups in the US raised almost $30 billion in 2021 across 729 deals, with investment in the market nearly doubling compared to 2020.
“By partnering with Al Waha Fund, LionBird now has access to innovation and networking opportunities in Bahrain, expanding our exposure in the MENA region,” said Jonathan Friedman, partner at LionBird. “We believe we are well-positioned to support startups in Bahrain and the region plan their entry into the US market. LionBird’s track record of success and unique combination of network and tools enables us to assist companies throughout their journeys – helping to address business, regulatory, and scientific challenges along the way and to identify the best opportunities for these businesses to scale and succeed.”