.As part of the partnership, AGC has commited AED 4 miillion ($1.1 million) in capital as the first tranche towards purchase of receivables mainly targeted towards the SME segment.
Anand Nagaraj, the founder & CEO of Invoice Bazaar, started the venture after serving as SVP and Head of Product for Citi’s Middle East commercial banking business. Speaking on the partnership, Nagaraj said, “We are delighted to have the support of an institutional investor of repute like AGC. This is just the beginning and I am sure our relationship with AGC will grow exponentially in the coming months.”
Supply chain finance enables global corporations to provide liquidity and ensure working capital efficiency among their supply chain. Invoice Bazaar is using the same principles to help SME (small & medium enterprises) suppliers with their working capital needs, while concurrently aiding larger purchasers to optimise their procurement cycle.
Due to an existing pipeline of deals, the funds from this latest investment will be immediately deployed towards receivables purchase. This takes InvoiceBazaar’s total fund raised including equity capital close to $3 Million and is on track to purchase receivables of $40 million in its first full year of operations.
Invoice Bazaar reports winning mandates from over 30 suppliers as well as 6 buyers in the UAE. The company expects to break even in its very first year of operations, which ensures that there would be no pressure to further liquidate equity just to meet its working capital needs.
Nagaraj comments: “If we get a strategic investor interested, who could offer to open doors with large buyers in the Middle East, that’s when we speak about series-A.”
With SME lending perceived as a risky domain by banks, leading to many exiting this space in a time of macroeconomics uncertainty, Invoice Bazaar provision of supply chain finance and dynamic discounting tools is helping SMEs resolve their working capital challenges without the exposure or risk of investing or loaning money to SMEs.
Commening on the investment, Nate Hartley, CEO and Chief Investment Officer of Advance Global Capital, said, “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.”