With global restrictions around the Covid-19 pandemic gradually lifting, TechBullion spoke with fintech entrepreneur Sumeet Khutale who has recently relocated from London to the kingdom to set up a fast-growing start-up company called Lamaa, which recently secured $5.5m funding from Saudi Aramco’s investment arm.
Tell us about your background in fintech and financial services?
I’ve been in the banking industry for 20 years, working in several key roles across investment banking, private banking, treasury management and cloud computing. With this experience, I felt the time was right to create a new offering that helped SMEs deliver growth, through a powerful fintech platform.
What inspired you to launch Lamaa?
SMEs are the lifeblood of the global economy, these companies are the incubators for innovation, bright ideas, and game-changing technology. In my view, not enough was being done to support these companies, so I created Lamaa to help solve this problem.
Lamaa provides financing solutions such as Supply Chain Finance & B2B Buy Now Pay Later plans for SMEs with the aim to create more efficient working capital management for suppliers and maximizing return on treasury for corporate, in line with Vision 2030 to enable and digitalize SMEs and raise their contribution to 35 per cent of GDP by 2030.
You previously lived and worked in the UK, what do you think of the fintech scene over here?
These are exciting times to be building a business in the kingdom, it’s a buzzing and an exciting world. The government is very supportive, and SAMA is working to help make the regulatory framework easier for fintechs to proposer and thrive.
How big a problem is invoice processes in The Kingdom and the wider middle east region?
With E-invoicing initiative of the Govt and standardisation of invoices, it makes it easy for Lamaa to check the invoices for their genuineness and allows us to process these invoices in a faster and more digitised fashion. Our technology can help SMEs very quickly to improve their performance and thrive, despite a fast-moving trading environment.
How will your technology help improve things?
Lamaa wants to make it easy for SMEs to have access to finance. By discounting their invoices approved by their anchor clients, Lamaa can offer credit to them without the need of any credit checks or promissory notes. The Anchor clients are credit checked and all their vendors can avail credit from Lamaa
What plans do you have for expansion?
Following a very successful seed funding round, we have big ambitions of take Lamaa to the next level. As part of this process, we are looking at entering the market of Egypt next.
Sumeet Khutale is the Founder of Lamaa, a fintech start-up which recently secured $5.5M of funding led by Raed Ventures and Saudi Aramco’s entrepreneurship arm Wa’ed.