Umati Capital secures $10m finance line from ApexPeak
BUSINESS| Aug. 20, 2014, 12:36 p.m.
By Tom Jackson, South Africa
Kenyan financial tech startup Umati Capital has agreed a deal with ApexPeak securing its first line of wholesale capital, which will see the latter offer a finance line commencing at US$300,000 per month but expected to grow to US$5-7 million per month before the end of 2014.
ApexPeak, which is headquartered in Singapore and has an office in Cape Town, South Africa, was established in 2013 to ease cash-flow problems for companies by buying e-invoices before they are due.
Umati believes it is set to make the adoption of invoice discounting easy for SME farmers and multinationals with its product M-Trader, which has just been through a six-month pilot. The company has been seeking funding since earlier this year to expand across Kenya and reach more agriculture-related businesses.
“We are confident our loan book will grow twenty-fold come December 2014. Since the launch of M-Trader, we have attracted a pipeline of over 50,000 active users,” said co-founder Ivan Mbowa. “Four large industrial companies purchasing volume agriculture products for retail sale have also joined the programme, and we expect this number to grow before the year is out.”
ApexPeak said it had stepped in to provide funding for Umati when bank and non-bank providers of capital proved unwilling. The US$300,000 per month provided initially could increase to upwards of US$10 million.
“We understand the challenges of setting up a supply chain finance platform. We were interested in the credit worthiness of the buyers, and the banks were interested in the credit worthiness of Umati. As Umati has no trading history, there was a problem,” said Gakim Solomons, chief executive officer (CEO) of ApexPeak.
“Most companies, when they talk about supply chain finance, struggle to get SMEs to adopt simple measures like paperless invoicing. Umati has gone one step further and shown the industry that supply chain finance can work from a cell phone. We are hoping Umati will make its technology available to other markets.”
MORE BUSINESS NEWS
MTN Business partners Ghana SME 100 RankingMTN Business has been announced as the headline sponsor of the first annual Ghana SME 100 ranking, an initiative put in place to identify and honour the country's top 100 local Small Medium Enterprises. Read More
Banks deny charging customers for BVNMoney deposit banks (MDBs) have denied allegation that they were milking their customers through ongoing Bank Verification Number (BVN) project of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Read More
Schneider Electric to acquire InStep SoftwareSchneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management, has entered into an agreement to acquire InStep Software, a leading provider of real-time performance management and predictive asset analytics software and solutions. Read More
AfricaOnline managed service solution launched in GhanaPan African telecoms operator, Gondwana International Networks (GIN) has announced that its AfricaOnline business has launched a managed infrastructure and services solution in Ghana. Read More
4th Annual CIO100 awards open for applicationIn conjunction with PwC, the CIO 100 awards, now in its fourth year, is now open for applications. Read More
Kenya’s Wananchi Group raises $130m for African expansionKenya’s Wananchi Group, which owns the Zuku pay-TV and fibre brands, has raised US$130 million in funding to expand in East and Southern Africa. Read More
Investor networks to work towards pan-African Business Angel NetworkInvestor networks from across Africa attending last week’s DEMO Africa event in Lagos, Nigeria agreed to investigate how to form a pan-African Business Angel Network focused on early stage SME investing on the continent. Read More
Uche Ofodile joins Tigo as CEO in DRCFormer Chief Marketing Officer for Vodafone Ghana, Uche Ofodile has joined the Millicom Group as the Chief Executive Officer for Tigo DRC. Read More
MTN Business partners with City Lodge Hotel GroupMTN and City Lodge Hotel Group have announced a partnership to improve connectivity and telecommunications services across more than 50 hotels in SA and Botswana. Read More
FEATURED STORYGrowing African focus on data security
Beachhead Solutions’ new SA and Mauritius country manager explains the challenges and solutions around securing customer data and compliance with new personal information legislation.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.
COMPANY NEWSCNN, MultiChoice name top African Journalist 2014
Kenyan journalist Joseph Mathenge has been awarded the top prize at this year’s CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2014 Awards Ceremony.