Singapore’s Incomlend bags $20m Series A round to democratise trade finance

Shipping companies face many monetary uncertainties, but Incomlend hopes to alleviate some of those concerns on the back of its new $20m Series A round.

The global online invoice trading platform raised the funds in a round led by Sequoia India. Earlier investor, shipping and logistics company CMA CGM Group, returned to offer the startup its continued support.

Founded in 2016 by CEO Morgan Terigi and director Dmitri Kouchnirenko, Singapore-based Incomlend is created to democratise access to trade finance.

“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 Terigi. “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.”

The idea is that its invoice exchange platform will do three things. Firstly, it will connect exporters and importers with institutional investors. Secondly, it will enable exporters to get paid early for supplied goods and services while importers are able to extend payment terms and minimise the risk of supply chain disruption. Thirdly, the platform will provide investors with access to an arguably attractive new alternative asset class and accelerate return on capital.

By doing those three things, Incomlend argues that it’s able to solve financing issues cross-border trading companies suffer from. The company argued that increased regulation and compliance costs have made banks more reluctant to back trade finance deals.

The result of this is that the sector is suffering from a $1.5trn trade finance gap, which has worsened because of Covid-19.

“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. We look forward to partnering with Incomlend in their next phase of growth.”

Now, on the back of its Series A round, Incomland will rollout its services further into into Europe, Southeast Asia, and North Asia. It will also put money towards further developing its platform.

As part of the series A fund raise, Incomlend has also appointed a new FinTech veteran Marc Mathenz as deputy CEO. “I am excited to have joined Incomlend to lead the company to its next stages of growth and operational scale,” he said. “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.”

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