Invoice Bazaar, a Dubai-based buyer-centric supply chain finance platform start-up, has partnered with Advance Global Capital (AGC), a London-based impact investment firm, to help SME suppliers with their receivables.
As part of the initial term sheet signed, AGC is committing AED4mn (about US$1.1mn) as the first tranche towards the purchase of receivables – mainly targeted at the SME segment. The financing takes Invoice Bazaar’s total funds raised, including equity, close to US$3mn.
Invoice Bazaar is an online platform built to connect SME suppliers to mid-sized and large buyers in the UAE. The platform helps suppliers to see the status of their invoices through the mobile app/cloud system, and provides an option to sell their invoices for cash, thereby helping them with their working capital cycle.
The platform helps the buyers by optimising their procurement process and provides the option to either opt for increasing days payable outstanding (DPO) or earning additional income by helping the SME suppliers.
Invoice Bazaar has already won mandates from over 30 suppliers and six buyers in the UAE. Because of its existing pipeline of deals, the funds from AGC will be immediately deployed towards the purchasing of receivables.
According to a statement by the company, Invoice Bazaar is on track to purchase receivables worth US$40mn in its first full year of operations. It is also expected to break even in the year.
The founder and CEO of the platform, Anand Nagaraj, has expressed satisfaction at the progress of the start-up. Nagaraj started Invoice Bazaar after almost a decade-long career with Citi. He was previously senior vice-president and head of product for Citi’s Middle East commercial banking business. “Invoice Bazaar is the latest fintech start-up to join the bandwagon of ex-bankers trying to make life easier for businesses,” reads a statement on its website.
“We found Invoice Bazaar to be a perfect fit under our investment mandate as we have had the experience of working with over a dozen similar platforms in the Americas, Europe and Africa. Invoice Bazaar is our first investment in the Middle East, which is an important milestone in the geographic diversification of our fund,” explains Nate Hartley, CEO and chief investment officer of Advance Global Capital.