Two Bahraini start-ups have raised a total of $1.5 million during the fourth episode of Beban 2, the entrepreneurship themed reality TV show.

Filmed in Al Areen Palace and Spa by Accor this season, Beban features entrepreneurs pitching their businesses in front of a panel of regional investors for immediate investment and business opportunities.

The episode that went on air yesterday saw the show producer Hope Ventures lead the funding round alongside venture capitalists from Bahrain and Saudi.

YAS Holding, a group holding company that manufactures and supplies furniture with a focus on closets and kitchens, co-founded by Yasser Shuaib and Ali Al Haddad, raised $1.3m from Hope Ventures and Infracorp, the social infrastructure group recently established by GFH group, which was represented by its chief executive Majed Alkhan.

Also walking with a bag of money was RestHero, a B2B ‘software as a service’ solution that optimises sales through social media, co-founded by Dr Abdulla Alshimmari and Ahmed Khalifa.

It raised $200,000 from Hope Ventures and Saudi investor and co-founder of Riyadh Angel Investors, Dr Khalid Al Taweel.

Fajer Al Pachachi, general manager at Hope Ventures, said: “I am excited about the co-investments that occurred in this episode, as they represent a true attestation to the efficacy of Beban’s mission in matchmaking high-potential businesses with strategic investors who can accelerate their growth with their expertise.”

She added: “Ali and Yasser have built a robust foundation having a presence in eight countries, and Infracorp brings a tremendous wealth of industry knowledge and reach that will undoubtedly contribute to advancing the company towards their next milestone of growth. While Dr Khalid AlTaweel’s expertise in technology will further complement RestHero’s developmental needs and drive forward the product to regional markets.”

Commenting on Infracorp’s co-investment in YAS Holding, Mr Alkhan said: “Infracorp was launched to help accelerate growth and investment in innovative businesses that are in line with our vision and strategy... As a Bahraini company that has a regional presence, YAS has demonstrated sustainable traction over the years; and we look forward to conveying our expertise to help the company grow and expand globally.”

Thanking Beban for the opportunity to get acquainted with many startups in the Arab world, Dr AlTaweel said: “As an investor in over 50 emerging tech startups from various financial, health, and commercial sectors, I always look for innovative solutions that are run by a distinguished team and contribute to solving existing problems on the ground and operate with a business model that leads to profitability within two years at most.”

The panel of investors also included Mashael Fairooz, founding partner of JEO Capital headquartered in Bahrain, and was moderated by Aymen Almoayed, chairman of Hope Fund, who was also representing Hope Ventures.

All four episodes of Beban 2 are available for viewing anytime on the streaming platform Shahid.

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