KAUST spends $200m to promote tech startups in Saudi Arabia: VP

RIYADH: Fintech company Lendo plans to launch new products in the coming months to fund growing small and medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs, in Saudi Arabia.

The company recently obtained the official license from the Central Bank of Saudi Arabia to produce innovative financial products in the Kingdom, making it the first Sharia-compliant company specializing in debt crowdfunding.

“One of the biggest challenges SMEs face is late payment for services from their customers. Often these companies have to wait three or six months to get paid,” Osama AlRaee, co-founder and CEO of Riyadh-based Lendo, told Arab News on the sidelines of the World Entrepreneurship Congress in Riyadh.

Founded in 2019 by AlRaee and Mohammad Jawabri, the company connects SMEs seeking funds with investors seeking high-return options on its crowdlending platform.

Its business is modeled on invoice financing, where a company borrows money against amounts owed by its customers.

Financing option helps businesses improve cash flow, pay employees and suppliers, and reinvest in operations and growth sooner than they could if they had to wait for customers to pay, experts say their balances.

“Over the past two years, Lindo has funded over SR300 million to small and medium enterprises and returned investments to investors at a zero percent default rate,” AlRaee said.

He further added that his company had made more than eight million Saudi riyals in profits for investors.

Last March, the company announced the closing of a SAR 27 million funding round led by Derayah Ventures, with participation from Seedra, Shorooq Partners and 500 Startups, Impact 46.

The company was also the first Saudi company to participate in Google’s Acceleration Program, a virtual program in the MENA region.

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