Banks today face competition from an array of fintech startups
The Saudi startup Lamaa will offer supply chain funding as well as Buy Now Pay Later schemes for SMEs. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Another fintech in the Gulf has bagged multi-million dollar backing - the startup Lamaa has a $5.5 million seed round led by Raed Ventures and Saudi Aramco’s entrepreneurship arm Wa’ed.

The investment mirrors Saudi commitment to SMEs' financial inclusion as part of the Vision 2030 push. Lamaa, based in Riyadh, provides invoice financing solutions for SMEs. This is one of the largest seed funding rounds to date in the Kingdom.

Lamaa provides financing solutions such as supply chain finance and ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ solutions for small and mid-sized businesses. The aim to create more efficient working capital management for suppliers and maximizing return on treasury for corporates.

A hefty GDP share

Saudi Arabia wants to enable and digitalize SMEs and raise their contribution to 35 per cent of GDP by 2030. “Since our initial launch in March, Lamaa has grown dramatically, with over 100 corporate clients in the pipeline and a projection of over $1 billion worth of invoices to be soon launched in its marketplace,” Sumeet Khutale, founder and CEO of Lamaa said.

“In addition to supply chain finance, we will soon start offering B2B Buy Now Pay Later plans, which would be the first offering of its kind in the region. We also plan to expand our company into Egypt, UAE and Qatar in the next few months.”

Lamaa was established in early 2021 by Sumeet Khutale, who relocated from London to Riyadh and has extensive experience in investment banking technology and cloud banking with Barclays Capital and JP Morgan. Lamaa seeks to address funding on tap gaps for SMEs, whose “size present a challenge in obtaining credit risk ratings, having a direct impact on their cashflow”.

"What excites us about Lamaa is that it’s a great platform to empower SMEs in Saudi Arabia," said Omar Almajdouie, founding partner at Raed Ventures. "For Lamaa, creating tremendous value from already-available cash will generate a win-win scenario in almost every transaction."