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RIYADH: Fintech firm Lendo is planning to launch new products in the coming months to finance the burgeoning small and medium enterprises, or SMEs, in Saudi Arabia.

The company recently bagged the official license from the Saudi Central Bank to produce innovative financial products in the Kingdom, making it the first Shari’ah-compliant company specializing in debt crowdfunding.

“One of the biggest challenges that SMEs face is the delay in payment of services from their clients. Often, these enterprises have to wait for 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 Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Riyadh.

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

Its business is modeled on invoice financing, where an enterprise borrows money against the amounts due from its customers.

According to experts, this financing option helps businesses improve cash flow, pay employees and suppliers, and reinvest in operations and growth earlier than they could if they had to wait until their customers paid their balances.

“In the last two years, Lindo financed more than SR300 million to small and medium businesses and returned the investments to the investors at zero percent default rate,” said AlRaee.

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

Last March, the company announced the closing of a SAR27 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 the Google accelerator program, a virtual program across the MENA region.

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