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
The benefit cycle: how ICT and skills will sustain each-other in developing AfricaICTs can develop skills, which in turn can develop the ICT sector, in a ‘benefit cycle’ that can propel Africa into the mainstream knowledge economy. But more effort is needed to get this wheel rolling, says Ayanda Dlamini, Business Development Manager at LGR Telecommunications. Read More
Nigerian carrier frets over naira devaluation, general electionsNational carrier Globacom says it is worried over the devaluation of the naira and the uncertainties hanging in the air about next month’s general elections in the country. Read More
150 entrepreneurs advance to quarter-finals of Digital Change-makers competition150 young Ghanaian entrepreneurs with varied digital solutions to improve the lives of Ghanaians, especially children, have made it to the quarter-finals of the Tigo Digital Change-makers competition. Read More
VMware reports fourth quarter and full year 2014 resultsVMware, the global leader in virtualisation and cloud infrastructure, has announced financial results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2014. Read More
Maroc Telecom completes Moov takeover for 474 million eurosMaroc Telecom said this week that it has completed the takeover of all Moov operations in six African countries to the total value of 474 million euros. Read More
Citrix: SA office workers lose up to 559 hours a year due to lack of flexible work optionsA Citrix study has found 20% of South African office workers work longer hours than contracted; losing up to 559 hours per year. Flexible working hours and the use of technology could improve the situation, it says. Read More
Wananchi Telecom prepares for rapid growth across Africa with global network services from EpsilonLeading East African carrier Wananchi Telecom has partnered with Epsilon to connect African customers to more than 170 countries around the world. Read More
Setback for BTCL IPO as workers cry brokeWith the Privatisation of Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited privatisation nearing completion, employees claim they do not have the funds to buy the five percent of shares allocated to them. Read More
Nomanini takes Africa by storm using Google Cloud PlatformNomanini, a Cape Town-based mobile point of sale service that specialises in facilitating cash payments in emerging markets, has successfully scaled into six countries across Africa in just four years, using Google’s Cloud Platform. Read More
Airtel Kenya announces senior management appointmentsAirtel Kenya has appointed Josee Cremieux and Dick Omondi as the new customer service director and corporate affairs director respectively. Read More
FEATURED STORYUCC launches 2015 ACIA awards
Uganda has launched the fifth Annual Communications and Innovation Awards, which celebrate and foster ICT innovation and achievement.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya’s digital TV battle hots up
Kenya’s journey to Digital TV broadcasting took a new turn this week, when the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) accused three local media firms of intent to disrupt the process.
COMPANY NEWSAlbany CTG, Microsoft, collaborate on School of Government Program
The University at Albany’s Center for Technology in Government (CTG) has announced its collaboration with Microsoft Corporation to deliver executive level training to government leaders in Africa ...VMware reports fourth quarter and full year 2014 results
VMware, the global leader in virtualisation and cloud infrastructure, has announced financial results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2014.