Invoice Bazaar, a supply chain SME finance platform headquartered in the UAE, with operations in India and Singapore, has received an undisclosed sum in investment from Shirish Apte, former CEO and Chairman (Asia Pacific) of Citigroup.

Invoice Bazaar has developed a technology platform that offers supply chain finance, receivables finance and dynamic discounting. Invoice Bazaar Supply Chain Finance (SCF) platform connects large buyers with SME suppliers which enables them to avail early payment on their receivables.

So far, the liquidity for early payments was being generated from non-bank funds and now Invoice Bazaar is partnering with local banks to unearth liquidity to SME suppliers against their receivables.

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“Having seen the business model of many fintech startups that continue to pitch, I found the business model of Invoice Bazaar compelling, as it complements banks’ offering rather than trying to compete with banks. The marriage of banks with fintech in my opinion is the model of the future,” said Apte who also joins the advisory board of the startup.

Apte has over 30 years’ experience with Citigroup. In 1997, he took the position of Citibank’s President and Country Manager for Poland. He was responsible for Citibank’s acquisition of Bank Handlowy in 2000, following which he was appointed Deputy President and Chief Operating Officer for Citibank Handlowy.

Between 2000 and 2003, he also led the merger and integration of Citibank Poland and Bank Handlowy. From 2003 to 2009, Shirish was CEO for CEEMEA (Central Eastern Europe Middle East and Africa) region, before becoming CEO for Asia Pacific in 2009. He was a member of Citigroup’s Executive and Operating Committees as well as chairman of Citi Asia Pacific Banking until his retirement in early 2014.

Apte is a Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Wales and holds an MBA from the London Business School.

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