Shipping documentation startup ODeX raises funds from fin-tech partner

Shipping documentation startup ODeX raises funds from fin-tech partner
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19 Feb, 2018

Dubai-based fin-tech startup Invoice Bazaar Holdings Ltd has bought a minority stake for an undisclosed amount in its Mumbai-based partner ODeX, an online shipping documentation provider.

ODeX, a startup, will use the funds to expand its footprint across West Asia as well as to develop products, Invoice Bazaar said in a statement.

The company connects stakeholders in shipping, manages the workflow in shipping by digitising manual documentation exchange, and collects payments. In partnership with Invoice Bazaar, the company offers early payment options as well to its clients in India. Invoice Bazaar’s finance platform connects large buyers with small-sized and medium-sized suppliers. This helps the suppliers get early payment. The startup partners local banks to enable its supply chain finance platform. The fin-tech startup looks to expand its reach to the shipping industry through this minority acquisition. Besides, both companies are currently working on creating solutions for the supply chain finance problem in the shipping industry.

ODeX’s client base includes diversified conglomerate Tata group, tyre maker CEAT, natural resources company Vedanta Resources plc, logistics firm DHL Express (USA), Inc., and Godrej Group.

ODeX was founded by Liji Nowal, along with Vinit Shetty, Anand Raman, Kapil Patel, and Binai Thoppil. The team had previously founded an information technology company named Esfera & Aster Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

ODeX claims to have processed four million documents in the last 12 months since it launched business in India. Currently, 55% of India’s Verified Gross Mass (or cargo weight) is filed through documents on ODeX platform, the press release said.

Invoice Bazaar began operations in Dubai and has now expanded to India and Singapore.

In November 2016, Invoice Bazaar had received a commitment of around $1.1 million (Rs 7.1 crore) in capital from Advance Global Capital, Ltd. The latter focuses on financial inclusion through invoice discounting for small-sized and medium-sized businesses in the United Kingdom. Later in May 2017, Invoice Bazaar received an undisclosed amount from Shirish Apte, former Asia-Pacific chief executive and chairman at Citigroup, who joined the advisory board of the startup.