Bahrain's GFH closes its second tech portfolio as it taps into Covid-19-fuelled tech boom

Three companies from GFH's first technology portfolio had successful IPOs

Cityscape of the hotels, skyscrapers and development along the 'Al Corniche' and the 'Diplomatic Area' of Manama in Bahrain illuminated at night.

GFH Financial Group, a Manama-based investment bank, has closed its Global Tech Opportunities II offering, a portfolio of investments in companies that are in the pre-listing stage and specialise in next-generation technology.

The portfolio gives GFH minority stakes in companies within tech sub-sectors, such as cloud and enterprise software, cyber security, FinTech, mental health, e-commerce and mobile gaming, it said.

This is its second US-based tech portfolio in less than a year.

The companies that GFH have invested in include SoftBank-backed Automation Anywhere, US cyber-security start-up Tanium, online retailer of sneakers StockX, FinTech firm Rapyd, mobile game developer Scopely, Robinhood, crypto exchange Kraken, mental health services platform Lyra Health and marketing automation platform Klaviyo, among others.

"As we come out of the Covid-19 crisis, we are actively investing in businesses that will benefit from strong economic growth and are backed by robust long-term fundamentals," Hammad Younas, GFH's chief investment officer, said.

GFH successfully closed its first portfolio offering in pre-IPO tech companies during Q4 2020. Of these, three companies – Snowflake, UiPath and Doordash – have had successful listings on the New York Stock Exchange and are currently trading at between four to six times their late-stage private funding rounds, the investment bank said. The portfolio has yielded "outsized returns" and has started cash distributions to investors, it said.

"GFH will continue to draw on its deep experience in software, FinTech, e-commerce and healthcare in an effort to build a transformational technology investment platform," Mr Younas said.

In May, the group reported net profit attributable to shareholders of $16.12 million for the first quarter of the year, compared to $5.08m in the first quarter of 2020.

Updated: July 3rd 2021, 2:18 PM