The National Bank of Ras Al-Khaimah (Rakbank) has become the first bank to partner with Dubai-based supply chain finance (SCF) platform start-up Invoice Bazaar.

The partnership allows Rakbank to participate as a receivable purchaser on SCF transactions on the Invoice Bazaar platform.

Invoice Bazaar connects large buyers with SME suppliers so that they may make early payment on their receivables. The liquidity required for these early payments is provided by receivable purchasers. Thus far the company has been successful in attracting funds from the likes of UK-based impact investment firm Advance Global Capital and Shirish Apte, former CEO and chairman of Asia Pacific at Citi. Rakbank is the first bank to provide liquidity.

“This partnership is significant to us as we move towards further digitising our offering to our business clients. This opens up a new channel in SME lending,” says Rakbank CEO Peter England.

“We are extremely pleased to have Rakbank as the first partner bank in our endeavour,” adds Anand Nagaraj, founder and CEO of Invoice Bazaar. “Rakbank is one of the most active and innovative banks in the region, and it was no surprise that they moved faster than any other bank to understand the synergies that exist. This association will help us attract global and local corporations to implement supply chain programmes for their suppliers.”

The first transaction under the partnership has already been completed. In the initial phase, five SCF programmes are under implementation.