May 26, 2024

Kema Raises A USD2Mln Pre-Seed Round Powered By SpeedInvest

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Kema recently announced raising a $2 million pre-seed round led by Speedinvest with participation from Dubai Foundation District Fund (DFDF)
Kema founder & CEO Michael Ghandour and co-founder & CTO Akash Rao. Image Credit-Kema

Kema recently announced raising a $2 million pre-seed round led by Speedinvest with participation from Dubai Future District Fund (DFDF). It is a UAE Fintech platform founded by ex-Mumzworld.com co-founder, Michael Ghandour.

Kema transforms how businesses sell to one another (B2B) by digitizing, automating, and streamlining the invoice-to-cash process, also known as accounts receivable. Businesses benefit from accelerated and automated cash flow while saving both time and money.

Industry sources stated that the firm is in pursuit of launching its SaaS platform aimed at supporting the SME segment, scaling the solution across the UAE, and hiring top talent to support its growth. According to a 2021 UAE Central Bank report, the business payments volume in the UAE crossed $1.5 trillion – that’s nearly 50% more than all retail payments in the UAE. However, the financial operations of B2B SMEs have always been more analog, inefficient, and challenging than their more mature peers.

“Having worked with B2B SMEs, a healthy and predictable cash flow cycle remains elusive for many. The problem is compounded by the combination of persistent payment delays, manual invoice workflows, and follow-ups, multiple disconnected systems, and limited access to SME financing,” stated Kema founder & CEO Michael Ghandour. “As a result, many businesses get stuck in a cycle of limited growth, increasing costs and unproductive use of their most valuable resource, their employees’ time.”

Since the private beta version rolled out in Q2 of 2023, Kema has facilitated more than AED 16.5m (USD $4.5m) in invoices. “Incorporating learnings from working with our early customers, Kema can now slash the receivables process by up to 50%.” stated Akash Rao. “We are also continuously adding a range of new features to suit many different types and sizes of businesses.”

Speedinvest partner Stefan Klestil

“Having been part of both the UAE and European ecosystem for a long time, we understand the impact that SME digitization can have on a market. We are incredibly excited about Kema’s potential to vastly improve the financial workflows of B2B SMEs and empower them to unlock growth and opportunity in the region,“ stated Speedinvest partner Stefan Klestil. “We are looking forward to leveraging our deep experience in the fintech space to support Kema’s mission.”

Sharif El-Badawi, CEO of Dubai Future District Fund

“In line with the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33), one key aspect of our thesis on the Future of Finance is the use of technology to digitize core financial functions. Kema deeply understands SME financing pain points and is bringing a comprehensive solution to the market that is well-suited to the UAE and equally applicable for other emerging markets that we’ve looked at,” stated Sharif El-Badawi, CEO of Dubai Future District Fund.

Kema offers hassle-free “no-code” plug-ins that sync with leading accounting software, such as Xero and Quickbooks. Within minutes, businesses can unlock the benefits of using Kema by generating and processing invoices, automatically embedding payment links and sending reminders, receiving payments via a variety of digital channels, and getting real-time analytics on their cash flow.

Catalyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic, 90% of SMEs in MENA now believe digitization is a driver for growth. Furthermore, various government programs launched specifically to not only bolster SMEs but also allow them to thrive, such as the Dubai International Growth Initiative and Financial Sector Development Program in KSA.

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