Singapore-based alternative financier ApexPeak has fully acquired Dubai tech startup Cashnomix, providing the firm with a footprint in the Middle East.

Cashnomix is a cloud-based platform that enables small businesses in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to ease short-term cash by receiving early payment on invoices. The company has a growing deal book in the UAE worth US$1.2mn in small business receivable purchases. It recently completed a prototype credit scoring algorithm for invoices.

“Everybody thinks the Middle East is flush with cash. While it is true to some degree, that cash does not readily reach small businesses. The process for small businesses to get short-term finance is difficult and, furthermore, the cost of borrowing from traditional lenders is very high, between 18 and 30% per annum,” says Sujith Kurup, founder and CEO of Cashnomix.

It is believed that small enterprises in the UAE today comprise 94% of the total number of companies and 90% of the total workforce.

Kurup will assume the role of managing director of Middle East operations, and roll out ApexPeak’s suite of working capital products in the Dubai market first, before exploring growth in other parts of the UAE.

“Small-enterprises in Dubai will be able to upload an invoice onto the ApexPeak platform, and get a rapid decision supported by our scoring algorithm. We will bring alternative finance to a part of the world where finance for small enterprise owners is desperately needed,” he says.