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LENDO THE LEADING SAUDI SME LENDING MARKETPLACE RAISES SR 27 MILLION IN RECENT ROUND

Alternative form of financing actively supports SMEs to augment growth

MENA : 4 March 2021: Saudi-based shari’ah compliant fintech company, Lendo, the leading crowdlending marketplace that offers small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to digitally pre-finance their outstanding invoices, has announced today that the company has successfully raised an investment of SR 27 million in Series A within a year of its launch.

The Series A round was led by Derayah Ventures, with participation from Seedra, Shorooq Partners, 500 startups, and Impact46 . The new funds will be deployed to accelerate the company’s plans to deepen its platform capabilities, and expand the product offering with a more sector-focused solution-based approach.

Co-founded in 2019 by Osama AlRaee, CEO and Mohammad Jawabri, COO, Lendo has proved to be critical especially during the COVID-19 crisis. Whilst the lockdown period presented acute cash burn pressure for most SME businesses as activity levels fell off, Lendo was able to step in and help them maintain sustainable levels of working capital. This latest round of investment has further strengthened Lendo’s foothold, to well position itself as the best-in-class company of choice in the SME invoice financing space.

Osama AlRaee, CEO and co-founder of Lendo said: “We are proud to be backed by leading investors who have excellent knowledge and experience in the most rapidly maturing MENA entrepreneurial ecosystem. Aside from the financial support and expert advice from the pioneers in the market, their trust in our business model will help us achieve both our short term and long-term goals and scale our business to the next level.”

“The additional investment helped us create more opportunities for Lendo to finance businesses during the challenging economic climate brought about by COVID-19. At Lendo, our strategy is to provide access to low profit rate financing to SMEs and help funders receive better returns. Since our launch, it is noteworthy that we were able to finance more than 100 invoices worth of more than SAR 60 million to SMEs and give back more than SAR 3,000,000 to our investors in profit, with more profit distribution in the pipeline. Our alternative form of financing has proven to be faster in getting the needed cash flow and has become an essential part of the recovery strategies for many of our customers/clients. We are proud to be the preferred platform of choice for SMEs lending and borrowing in Saudi Arabia and look forward to be pioneers in the wider MENA region.”

Faris Alrashed, lead investor, said: “The Lendo team has built a remarkable company which is evidenced by their performance especially during the initial months of Covid-19. Lendo is a powerful solution in the industry and its offering is well-timed with the rapidly increasing demand for financing solutions in the dynamic SME lending arena. We firmly believe in the founders and their unparalleled focus on execution, user experience and scale. We are excited to be a part of Lendo’s exciting growth journey and look forward to continue to support the team as they forge ahead to build a great company and expand their business in the MENA region and beyond.”

Shorooq Partners Founding Partner, Shane Shin commented: “As the only new investor to join Lendo’s journey, we are humbled and excited to work closely with Osama, Mohammed and the Lendo team to propel their growth within Saudi as they become the dominant regional player. We strongly believe that Lendo is creating a lasting impact by empowering SMEs and enabling a reliable and rewarding source of investments in the Kingdom, and we will be thrilled to support their regional and international milestones”

Commenting on the announcement, Mohammad Jawabri said: “As a team of fintech experts, we combine financial expertise with advanced technology to bring our clients solutions that can turn waiting time into valuable win-win situation for all parties involved. During the pandemic, there was a huge surge in the numbers of SMEs who turned to Lendo for financing to keep their businesses afloat. Our 25% month-on-month growth is testimony of the hard work, dedication and commitment of our team, of which we are proud.”

“We are grateful to the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) for including us as one of the fintech companies to test our innovative products under the Regulatory Sandbox Program. Would also like to thank Fintech Saudi, MCIT and Monshaat for all the support extended to us since our launch. These inclusions have helped us to align our activities in line with Saudi Vision 2030. We look forward to be a key contributor to the Kingdom’s rapidly evolving financial sector,” added Osama AlRaee.

Recently, Lendo won the “Excellence in Finance – Companies” award at the prestigious Finext Awards in Dubai and is participating as the only Fintech and only Saudi startup in the first regional cohort of the Google Accelerator program.  This acknowledged efforts of fintech thought leaders and torchbearers shaping the future of the finance industry.

Within a year of its inception, Lendo has experienced excellent growth. The platform provides solutions to two major pain points in the SME finance market. First, the limited options for SME businesses to borrow cash quickly and easily and second, the limited short-term options that offer higher returns for investors/lenders. The finance platform is a community of creditworthy borrowers and sophisticated investors looking for alternative investments that enables SMEs and investors to match each other through the crowdlending model. Lendo’s products and solutions make everyday business activities easier, more secure and more efficient for both investors and borrowers alike.  Lendo is licensed by SAMA (Saudi Central Bank) under the Sandbox Environment Program.


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