Abu Dhabi Global Market introduces Numou, a digital platform tailored to bridge the funding gap faced by SMEs. This digital platform marks a pivotal step in empowering small and medium-sized businesses in the UAE.
Numou aims to connect SMEs and lenders through its seamless digital platform with features that have been designed to financially empower and support the growth of the SME ecosystem across the UAE. Built-in collaboration with OneConnect Financial Technology, the fintech arm of PingAn Group.
The digital platform delivers value to each participant, providing key features like:
- For SMEs: Efficiently collecting data from various sources to create a comprehensive view of their business that meets lender’s requirements. At launch, Numou will seamlessly pull business data of SMEs licensed by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), and Abu Dhabi Global Market Registration Authority (ADGM RA), with planned expansion to other zones and the northern emirates by the first half of 2024. The platform also provides SMEs access to a curated network of service providers, such as accountants, auditors, lawyers, etc. that would help an SME during this process.
- For financial institutions: Facilitating loan application submissions that meet the lender’s requirements and enable efficient credit assessment, without a need for revalidation of originally sourced data.
- For partners and service providers: Granting direct access to SMEs that need their services with the potential for cross-selling value-added services.
Numou has attracted an ecosystem of launch partners that will support SMEs in meeting their finance-related needs. This includes lenders, such as the National Bank of Ras Al-Khaimah (RAKBANK), Al Maryah Community Bank (Mbank), Commercial Bank International (CBI) and CredibleX, and network partners such as Khalifa Fund and Mastercard. In this regard, Khalifa Fund will use the platform to extend credit facilities to qualifying SMEs. RAKBANK, Mbank and CBI collectively plan to commit and extend lending up to AED 100 million, AED 100 million and AED 20 million, respectively. The launch of Numou has been made possible because of the extensive support from key stakeholders, including the UAE Banks Federation (UBF), ADDED, and Khalifa Fund.
At launch, the platform will serve SMEs with domestic businesses in the UAE, with a view to expanding the products and services to SMEs seeking to expand their international footprint. To this end, ADGM will work with government counterparts in global business hubs to facilitate cross-border data exchange and trade financing.
ADGM is also collaborating with OneConnect, which has developed similar SME financing platforms in other international centres, to build digital corridors by connecting the respective platforms in different geographical locations. As an inclusive marketplace for financiers and SMEs, Numou will initially facilitate loan-based financing from lenders including banks, alternative digital lenders, supply chain financiers and private credit funds. In the next phase of development, Numou will expand the product offerings to include a more comprehensive spectrum of market-based financing.
Commenting on the launch, Salem Mohammed Al Darei, CEO of ADGM Authority, said,
“The launch of Numou represents a significant stride forward in our ongoing efforts to enhance the financial ecosystem for SMEs in the UAE. This platform is a testament to ADGM’s commitment to creating solutions that not only address immediate financing challenges but also pave the way for a more inclusive and sustainable future for small and medium-sized businesses. Numou is set to be an instrumental tool, offering unprecedented access to financial resources and support services that are crucial for the growth and scalability of these enterprises. We are proud to lead this initiative, working alongside esteemed partners, and we are confident that it will deliver tangible benefits to the SME community and the broader economy.”