INCOMLEND, an online invoice trading platform, has raised US$20 million in a Series A round led by Sequoia India. Shipping and logistics firm CMA CGM Group, which is an existing partner of the startup, also participated in the round.
Incomlend's global invoice exchange platform lets companies finance their export invoices by selling them to institutional investors at a discount. Exporters get paid early for supplied goods and services, while importers are able to extend payment terms and minimise the risk of supply chain disruption.
Investors, meanwhile, can access an alternative asset class. Capital is protected against debtors' credit risk through leading credit insurers. To date, Incomlend has facilitated over US$330 million in financing and covered invoice finance trades across 50 countries.
The Singapore-based company is looking at increasing the funded volumes of trade receivables and will use the Series A funds to drive expansion into Europe, South-east Asia and North Asia. It will continue to develop its digital invoice finance underwriting and processing.
Incomlend is targeting the financing gap that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) face due to tightened regulations in the post-Basel I and Basel II era, which prompted banks to pull back from all but the largest trade finance deals.
More than 40 per cent of trade finance applications from SMEs are rejected by banks, according to a 2019 report by the Asian Development Bank.
"The impact is acute in high-growth Asia where SMEs – which account for more than 95 per cent of all businesses and provide two out of three private-sector jobs in the region – need more financing options to meet their growing demand," said Incomlend.
The company was founded in 2016 by Morgan Terigi and Dmitri Kouchnirenko. As part of its fundraising, the startup has appointed Marc Mathenz as its new deputy chief executive officer. Mr Mathenz was the Asia-Pacific regional managing director for financial services firms Fiserv and First Data over the last 10 years.
"Incomlend's technology platform is bringing much needed financial innovation to the backbone of global trade," said Abheek Anand, managing director of Sequoia Capital (India) Singapore.
"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."