UAE banks’ individual deposits hit $3.5bn in Q4 2020

UAE banks’ individual deposits hit $3.5bn in Q4 2020
UAE banks’ individual deposits hit $3.5bn in Q4 2020

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: Riyadh-based financial technology (fintech) firm Lendo has raised $7.2 million to develop new technologies and financial products, as it plans to triple its revenue this year.

Launched just a year ago by Osama Al-Raee and Mohammed Jawabri, Lendo offers instant invoice financing to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through its Shariah-compliant lending platform. The offering helps SMEs manage their immediate cashflow.

Invoice financing is a popular short-term borrowing tool for businesses in different markets around the world, by which they leverage their receivables to receive loans from banks or other financial institutions.

Speaking to Arab News, Al-Raee, co-founder and CEO of Lendo, said: “We have financed more than 100 invoices worth over SR 60 million ($16 million) for SMEs. We are planning to grow and triple these numbers this year.”

On new funding plans and growth prospects, he said: “We want to go higher and grow our team, build new technologies and launch innovative financial products. We have started hiring. We are growing 25 percent month-on-month, which is a testimony of the hard work and dedication of our team. We plan to continue this growth,” he added.

The company raised money from Saudi funds Derayah Ventures, Seedra Ventures and Impact46, as well as from UAE-based Shorooq Partners and US-based 500 Startups, Al-Raee said.

Jawabri, co-founder and COO of Lendo, told Arab News: “In July 2019, we got a license from the Saudi Central Bank. We launched Lendo in December that same year. Lendo is one of the many lending startups that are part of the bank’s regulatory sandbox.”

The sandbox aims to attract local and international fintech firms to benefit from state-of-the-art technology so that they can provide innovative financial services to startups, fintech companies, financial services firms and professional services companies in Saudi Arabia.

Lendo offers loans starting from SR 100,000 and reaching up to SR 3 million by connecting the SMEs with investors on its marketplace. SMEs looking for financing can apply on Lendo’s platform if they have a valid Saudi business license, have been in operations for at least one year and have an annual turnover of about SR 2 million.

The system takes up to three days to review the profile after receiving all the required details and documentation. If approved, the business can apply for financing of up to 80 percent of the invoice value sold to the customer. These opportunities are then shared on Lendo’s platform with the investors who finance them collectively.

Lendo makes money by charging the SMEs a management fee and taking a 20-percent cut from the profit investors make.

“During the pandemic, there was a huge surge in the numbers of SMEs who turned to Lendo for financing to keep their businesses afloat,” said Jawabri.

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