Incomlend, a global online invoice trading platform that aims to democratize access to trade finance, has raised a US $20 million Series A round led by Sequoia India.
The CMA CGM Group, a world leader in shipping and logistics, has strengthened the existing partnership with Incomlend by also participating in the round, to create strong and innovative synergies between the financial and logistics flows, thus facilitating access to trade finance.
Incomlend’s global invoice exchange platform connects exporters and importers with world-class institutional investors. Through Incomlend, exporters can get paid early for supplied goods and services while importers are able to extend payment terms and minimize the risk of supply chain disruption. Investors, meanwhile, can access an attractive new alternative asset class and accelerate return on capital.
The company, looking at increasing the funded volumes of trade receivables, will use the Series A round to drive expansion into Europe, Southeast Asia, and North Asia, while advancing its technological development in state-of-the-art digital invoice finance underwriting and processing to fuel the real economy.
Incomlend’s innovative model is designed to solve the credit crunch hampering growth among cross-border trading companies worldwide. Increased regulation in the post-Basel I and Basel II era has driven up compliance-related costs borne by lenders, prompting banks to pull back from all but the largest trade finance deals. This has led to a $1.5 trillion trade finance gap, hitting mid-cap companies hard. This gap has worsened with Covid-19.
More than 40% of trade finance applications from small and medium enterprises (SME) are rejected by banks, according to a 2019 report by the ADB. The impact is acute in high-growth Asia where SMEs — which account for more than 95% of all businesses and provide two out of three private-sector jobs in the region — need more financing options to meet their growing demand. Further, low-interest rates in Asia — and negative rates in Europe — are prompting many global investors to seek alternative asset classes.
Compared with traditional finance, Incomlend can onboard clients and process trades faster, with better granularity and higher flexibility, while providing companies with an alternative and balance sheet neutral source of funding; the process is transparent and can be tracked online. Incomlend has a key role to play, now more than ever, in providing the much-needed liquidity to companies in times of global supply chain disruptions caused by the current global Covid-19 pandemic. On the investor side, capital is protected against debtors’ credit risk through leading credit insurers. To date, the company has facilitated over USD330 million in financing and covered invoice finance trades across 50 countries.
“Incomlend’s mission is to increase financial inclusion on non-recourse basis for companies of all sizes across the globe while offering investors real alternatives non-correlated to financial markets to existing asset classes” said Morgan TERIGI, CEO and Co-founder of Incomlend and further states: “International trade is the cornerstone of Asia’s economy, and we aim to help exporters develop their business by providing alternative working capital finance when and where they need it. Our partnership with CMA CGM and Sequoia India is a major milestone for Incomlend’s growth and drive toward creating a stronger, safer and more efficient trade finance environment globally.”
Marc BOURDON, Senior Vice President - Commercial & Agencies Network, CMA CGM Group, states: “As a world leader in shipping and logistics, the CMA CGM Group is committed to offering its clients ever-more dedicated and tailored solutions. In this regard, innovation and digitization are essential tools which offer us tremendous opportunities for growth, differentiation and performance. This is the reason why Incomlend’s approach resonated with us. Our partnership will allow us to create strong and innovative synergies between the financial and logistics flows, thus facilitating access to trade finance for our customers.”
“Incomlend’s technology platform is bringing much needed financial innovation to the backbone of global trade. The massive trade finance gap, combined with declining global interest rates and the high credit quality of Incomlend’s customers, has helped them create a compelling business that helps solve one of the most important challenges faced by global SMEs. We look forward to partnering with Incomlend in their next phase of growth,” said Abheek ANAND, Managing Director, Sequoia Capital (India) Singapore.
Incomlend was founded in 2016 by Morgan Terigi and Dmitri Kouchnirenko. As part of the series A fundraise, Incomlend has also appointed a new Deputy CEO, Marc Mathenz. Marc is a strategic yet hands-on business leader with more than 15 years’ experience in the Fintech and Payments space. He served as the Asia Pacific Regional Managing Director for both Fiserv as well as First Data over the last 10 years. Marc was named Singapore Fintech Executive of the Year in 2018 (Singapore Business Review) based on his reputation for successfully transforming companies into highly profitable and fast-growing businesses. With his unique insights into Fintech and Digital Transformations he has been featured multiple times in the media. Marc has an MBA from the London Business School and is also an FCCA and CFA charter holder. “I am excited to have joined Incomlend to lead the Company to its next stages of growth and operational scale. It is inspiring to experience the satisfaction of solving real life problems by helping fledgling Asian SMBs meet their financing needs, and thus growth ambitions, and to do so in a seamless and technology-driven fashion,” said Marc MATHENZ, Incomlend Deputy CEO.