Singapore-based invoice financing marketplace Incomlend has partnered with European alternative asset manager Fasanara Capital to launch a global $60 million alternative financing program for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) focused on environment, social, and governance (ESG), the marketplace said in a press statement on October 5.

The Incomlend ESG Invoice Financing Program, purportedly Asia’s first ESG-focused structured finance program, is tailored for SMEs looking to positively impact their communities while continuing to capture new business opportunities and grow their revenue.

Incomlend connects SMEs globally with communities of investors, enabling them to finance individual invoices on an exchange platform. Since 2016, Incomlend has financed over $500 million in trades across 50 countries.

Last August, the trade finance startup raised a $20 million Series A led by Sequoia Capital India. CMA CGM, one of the world’s largest shipping and logistics companies, also joined the round.

The ESG-focused initiative allows qualified SMEs to monetize invoices as early as three days following the shipment of their products, giving them fiscal agility to capture new revenue opportunities while enabling them to hedge against credit risks.

Incomlend CEO and co-founder Morgan Terigi said, “We believe that ESG is not a hindrance but an accelerator of SMEs’ growth, and more needs to be done to aid ESG-focused SMEs.

“Through this joint alternative financing program with Fasanara Capital, we aim to nurture more responsible companies globally and enable them to grow their business and profitability,” he added.

Based in London, Fasanara Capital is a quantitative fintech investment company authorized and regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, offering access to inventive disruptive products and real-economy impact investment solutions, making extensive use of proprietary financial technology.

Fasanara Capital CEO Francesco Filia said, “SMEs represent approximately 90% of companies globally and have tremendous collective potential to make a positive impact. With Incomlend’s global reach and proven expertise, we are confident that they can maximize our investment and deliver working capital at scale to the right SMEs to drive meaningful change worldwide.”

Incomlend will be assessing ESG-focused SMEs using the UN Principles on Business and Human Rights, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the Paris Agreement.

The ESG program connects institutional investors who are keen to support ESG-centric businesses with socially responsible, sustainable SMEs. It also allows investors to diversify their investments in assets while providing robust and steady returns at a transparent, monitored, and limited risk level, Incomlend said in the statement.

Citing figures from the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance, Incomlend said sustainable investment in the US, Canada, Australasia, and Europe has increased by 15% from 2018 to 2020, reaching $35.3 trillion in value–accounting for over one-third of all assets under management.

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