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Senjo Group, a Singapore-based payments operator and an investor in fin-tech ventures, has today announced its partnership with Tjaara, a B2B marketplace. Along with this, it has also announced investment of $1.2 million in the startup.

The investment group has also announced that it will extend an additional $20 million in Tjaara in trade finance.

Tjaara, which literally means “marketplace” in Arabic, uses a group buy concept to aggregate demand from customers to present a large consolidated order to pre-qualified manufacturers.

The platform essentially acts as a global purchaser to numerous unaligned wholesalers and businesses in the market, and aids the process on their behalf. It negotiates, does quality control checks from factory to port and even acts as an escrow service to manage the complicated buying process between Chinese manufacturers and foreign companies.

Fred Then, Co-Founder of Tjaara, said,

Tjaara was built to help our end-users unlock a larger variety of products and larger profit margins through economies-of-scale. Unlike typical agents, Tjaara is also able to assist with product evaluation by obtaining samples for end-users; this is possible because of our close relationship with manufacturers.

It is known that Chinese wholesale e-commerce platforms like Alibaba offer lower prices for local purchases, and when non-Chinese IP addresses are detected, the price is typically inflated. This is why Tjaara will always get better pricing as all buying is done locally through our China operations. And by consolidating the orders of small wholesalers, we’ll get more bulk discounts.

The platform is currently invite-only and only vetted Channel Partners can log in to use the company’s services. Channel Partners can view translated listings or request for a search for products. Initially, every partner is allocated 50 complimentary translation requests per month. A mobile app of the platform is also in the works to create even easier access.

Tjaara says that they have been secretly researching for almost 2 years and recently incorporated in August 2016. The soft launch will happen sometime in Q1 2017, and it plans to launch fully in Q3 2017. The business will initially focus on the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and North Africa.

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