South African startup ApexPeak has acquired Dubai’s Cashnomix, saying the purchase will provide it with a footprint in the Middle East and complement its presence in other emerging markets.
ApexPeak is a capital provider to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and those transacting on electronic invoicing networks, easing cash flow problems by offering early payments on their invoices.
The startup is a graduate of the first 88mph accelerator programme in Cape Town, the company is expanding further after a stellar last 18 months that saw it secure US$1.84 million of follow-on funding in September 2013, hand Kenyan financial tech startup Umati Capital a finance line expected to grow to up to US$7 million, and secure a US$23 million deal with citrus fruit grower Karu Exporters.
It has now bought 100 per cent of Cashnomix, which recently completed a prototype credit scoring algorithm for invoices and has built a deal book in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) worth US$1.2 million.
Sujith Kurup, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Cashnomix, said: “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 and 30 per cent per annum.”
The cloud-based Cashnomix platform enables small businesses to ease short-term cash flow issues by receiving early payment on invoices.
“The algorithm we have built collects signals from a large variety of sources to determine a score and a confidence index for each invoice,” said Kurup.
Gakim Solomons, co-founder of ApexPeak, said the credit scoring application had 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,” he said.