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Marking its expansion into the Middle East, alternative finance company ApexPeak has just acquired Dubai based Cashnomix — a cloud based invoicing service.
ApexPeak, which is a 2012 fellow of the South African 88mph accelerator, has over the past three years established itself as a major player in the business finance space. As Ventureburn pointed out a few months ago, the startup is onto something big, and this recent buy just further proves it.
In early 2014, it raised US$200-million on the back of securing million dollar deals with not just SMEs, as first intended, but with major multinationals like South Africa’s Karu Exporters. The firm was founded in 2012 and has so far provided over US$1.3 billion trade finance to businesses located in 25 countries worldwide.
To put these major investments and deals to good use, the company seems to be reaching for new high-growth markets like the United Arab Emirates where Cashnomix already has a foothold. ApexPeak generally focuses on Southeast Asia and Africa.
Financial details of the deal is not disclosed.
“Everybody thinks the Middle East is flush with cash. While it is true to some degree, that cash does not readily reach small businesses. The process for small businesses to get short-term finance is difficult and, furthermore, the cost of borrowing from traditional lenders is very high, between 18-30% per annum,” says Sujith Kurup, founder and CEO of Cashnomix.
“The credit scoring application has far reaching consequences for Southeast Asia and Africa. The result is faster underwriting. Today, we can provide SMEs with an answer in five days. Tomorrow, we will be able to approve transactions in a fraction of the time”, says Gakim Solomons, one of ApexPeak’s founders.
As reported by Zawya, ApexPeak’s other co-founder Sujith Kurup will assume the role of managing director of Middle East operations, and roll out ApexPeak’s suite of working capital products in the Dubai market first, before exploring growth in other parts of the UAE.
Watch this space.