ApexPeak has handed Kenyan financial tech startup Umati Capital a finance line which will commence at US$300,000 per month, an amount expected to grow to US$5 million to US$7 million per month before the end of the year.
ApexPeak, which is headquartered in Singapore and has a second office in Cape Town, South Africa, eases cash-flow problems faced by SMEs and MNCs by buying e-invoices before they fall due, and currently provides funding lines in excess of US$1.3 billion.
Umati Capital is looking to disrupt traditional supply chain finance by making the adoption of invoice discounting easy for SME farmers and multinationals, having completed a six-month pilot of its proprietary solution M-Trader. The company’s founders are now aiming to take M-Trader nationwide, and become accessible to every agriculture-related business in Kenya.
“We are confident our loan book will grow twenty-fold come December 2014. Since the launch of M-Trader, we have attracted a pipeline of over 50,000 active users,” said co-founder Ivan Mbowa.
“Four large industrial companies purchasing volume agriculture products for retail sale have also joined the programme, and we expect this number to grow before the year is out.”
Umati has been looking for funding since earlier this year, yet found providers of capital shy in lending due to its lack of trading history. The six-month agreement with ApexPeak, however, provides an initial US$300,000 per month, with scope of finance in excess of US$10 million per month.
African Trade Insurance Agency closed the circle, underwriting the capital.
“ApexPeak was willing to provide us with a larger investment compared to other financiers. Its credibility as an anchor debt investor has made all the difference. Since ApexPeak came on board, many doors have opened to additional finance should we need it,” said Mbowa.
Gakim Solomons, chief executive officer (CEO) of ApexPeak, said: “We understand the challenges of setting up a supply chain finance platform. We were interested in the credit worthiness of the buyers, and the banks were interested in the credit worthiness of Umati. As Umati has no trading history, there was a problem.
“Most companies, when they talk about supply chain finance, struggle to get SMEs to adopt simple measures like paperless invoicing.
“Umati has gone one step further and shown the industry that supply chain finance can work from a cell phone. We are hoping Umati will make its technology available to other markets.”
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