BNP Paribas has partnered with asset management firm Apollo and its subsidiary Athene to set up a new inventory finance platform.

Eliant Inventory Solutions, which is now live, is built on tech provided by software company GEP Worldwide. Athene, which merged with Apollo this month, serves as Eliant’s primary financing partner, while Apollo will act as investment manager.

For its part, BNP Paribas will provide debt and receivables financing as well as structuring advisory and referral services to Eliant.

The in-house team at Eliant includes former Greensill executive Sarood Baig, while Dinesh Kumar, also formerly of Greensill, is taking on the role of head of inventory solutions.

In a statement, Eliant says it launches with “strong customer demand”, adding that it already has US$1.3bn in signed or awarded inventory programmes with blue-chip customers.

“Together with Athene, we have established Eliant to serve the growing market for flexible inventory and trade finance solutions, while helping our clients access high-quality, recurring asset origination,” says Ephraim Rudman, partner at Apollo. “More and more companies are looking for economically efficient ways to strengthen their supply chains and bolster resilience, while traditional financing sources have largely stopped originating these assets – creating a significant opportunity for us to engage as a solutions provider.”

Inventory finance, which can be used alone or to complement other solutions such as supply chain finance programmes, enables corporates to unlock cash tied up in their inventories, be that for inbound or outbound goods, consignment stock or work in progress, while positively impacting the balance sheet.

Eliant says it will focus on critical and strategic inventory for “high-quality, global customers, employing diligent underwriting that aligns with the investment philosophies of Apollo and Athene”.