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    ADGM launches ‘Numou’ a revolutionary SME Financing digital platform

    ADGM FSRA 28/11/2023
    • Numou has been launched to simplify the process of loan application and credit assessment, fostering an inclusive marketplace for financiers, service providers, community and government partners, and SMEs.
    • Al Maryah Community Bank, RAKBANK, Commercial Bank International, CredibleX and Khalifa Fund are launch partners extending credit to SMEs via the platform.
    • Numou will foster an inclusive marketplace for financiers, service providers, community and government partners, and SMEs
    • Initially serving the UAE SME market, with a planned expansion and connectivity to regional and international SME markets.
    • RAKBANK, Mbank and CBI collectively plan to commit and extend lending of up to AED 220 million.

    Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the leading international financial centre in Abu Dhabi, introduces Numou a cutting-edge digital platform tailored to bridge the funding gap faced by SMEs. This innovative 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 (OneConnect), the fintech arm of PingAn Group, Numou emerges as a beacon of financial empowerment, transparency, and operational efficiency in the SME landscape.

    The innovative digital platform delivers substantial 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.”

    Mr. Jamal Saleh, Director General, the UAE Banks Federation, said, “Numou stands as a pivotal development for SMEs in the UAE, reflecting our collective commitment to fostering a dynamic and inclusive economic environment. It is a strategic extension of the UAE’s vision to reinforce our position as a hub of innovation and knowledge. At the UAE Banks Federation, we are proud to support such transformative platforms that align with our long-term goals of diversification and empowering the SME sector— the backbone of our national economy. With over 90% of businesses in the UAE falling under the SME category and their substantial contribution to the GDP and employment, it is initiatives like Numou that catalyze their growth potential. We are dedicated to ensuring that SMEs have the resources, support, and financial solutions they need to scale effectively, drive progress, and bolster our nation’s journey towards an advanced, future-proof economy.”

    Matthew Chen, CEO, OneConnect Financial Technology International (PingAn Group) said, “OneConnect is honoured to be partnering with ADGM on the development of Numou. SMEs are vital contributors to a nation’s economic growth and this platform will be a game changer for SMEs in the UAE. We are excited about the potential impact of the Numou, as it not only addresses the current challenges in SME finance but also opens up new possibilities for collaboration among key stakeholders.”

    Mr Chen added, “Building the success of our past collaboration, this new endeavour underscores the trust that ADGM has placed in OneConnect’s technological capabilities and the reliability and effectiveness of OneConnect’s solutions in addressing the unique challenges faced by SMEs in the UAE. Together, we will shape the future of digital finance, creating an ecosystem where trust, partnership, and technology converge to empower the UAE SME Market.”

    Between 27th and 30th November 2023, the Numou team will be on hand to provide further insights and answer questions at the Abu Dhabi Finance Week exhibition booth located at the North Plaza.

    Visit the booth to learn more about the platform and to experience the transformation Numou brings to SME financing.