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40Seas gets $111 million funding from ZIM, Team8

Funding comes as fintech startup emerges from stealth mode; ZIM also extends credit facility of approximately $100mn

40Seas gets $111 million funding from ZIM, Team8
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40Seas, an innovative fintech platform for cross-border trade financing, has raised $111 million to deliver a much more efficient and cost-effective financing framework for SMEs involved in global commerce.

The company's $11 million seed funding round, led by Team8 with participation from ZIM, is complemented by a $100 million credit facility for exporters and importers, says a release from ZIM.

"The fintech startup, built in conjunction with Team8's Fintech Foundry, has emerged from stealth mode with a view to closing the $1.7 trillion global trade finance gap, providing a solution that enables digital B2B payment functionality while facilitating cross-border trade between SMEs.

"By leveraging AI and data-driven technology, 40Seas is able to offer flexible payment options that are primed to disrupt legacy trade-financing solutions, and extend the accessibility of working capital for SME importers, exporters, freight forwarders and sourcing agencies. Since going live with a soft launch in October 2022, 40Seas has already financed transactions for dozens of SMEs and is slated to finance tens of millions of dollars in the coming months.

"40Seas empowers exporters to get paid immediately upon shipment so they can get a head start on their next production cycle. For importers, the platform offers deferred payment options to help them free up working capital and grow their business without tying up available lines of credit. The solution can also be leveraged by freight forwarders and sourcing agencies to increase cross-border trade volumes, generate new revenue streams and digitise B2B payment processes."

ZIM has extended 40Seas a three-year, account receivables based, senior secured, revolving credit facility of approximately $100 million with an option to increase it to $200 million, the release added. ZIM will embed 40Seas into the freight forwarding services offered by Ship4wd, its digital freight forwarding subsidiary.

40Seas is headquartered in Tel Aviv with offices in New York City, Toronto and Shenzhen. "Eyal Moldovan, Co-founder and CEO, was formerly the General Manager at Payoneer. Gil Shiff, Co-founder and COO, co-founded ConvertMedia (later acquired by Taboola). Suki Gao, Co-founder and GM of 40Seas China, spent a number of years at PayPal, Payoneer, and Ant Group. Igor Zaks, Co-founder and Chief Risk Officer, formerly served as an executive at Dell, Citibank, Daiwa, and Commerzbank."

Moldovan says: "As a kid working in my father's warehouse, I recall watching him routinely struggle with suppliers and banks to get extended payment terms and financing for his import business. In the 25 years since, the trade financing landscape hasn't evolved in any meaningful way or kept pace with the needs of SMEs operating in the digital era. Given today's harsh macroeconomic conditions, now more than ever, SMEs need easy access to financing to have the best chance of survival. 40Seas wants to drive a sea change in how companies access finance, with a unique solution that makes life easier for importers and exporters, serving both directions of a cross-border trade."

Eli Glickman, President and CEO, ZIM, adds: "With our significant investment in 40Seas, we continue to advance disruptive technologies to promote digital innovation in the shipping industry while developing additional streams of revenue that complement our core shipping business. We are thrilled to partner with Team8, one of Israel's leading and most innovative venture groups, on this ground-breaking initiative, which we will also soon offer to our customers worldwide, initially via our digital freight forwarder, Ship4wd. Importantly, with this strategic cooperation, 40Seas will be able to leverage ZIM's in-depth knowledge of cross-border trade and our close relationship with the market and global SME customers to bring this advanced, much-needed digital financing solution to the market."

Rakefet Russak-Aminoach, Managing Partner, Team8, says: "Amidst challenging economic conditions and a fractured global supply chain landscape, now more than ever, SMEs need more streamlined and flexible ways to access financing. Team8 is extremely proud to have partnered with the 40Seas founding team and we are thrilled to have supported their mission to simultaneously accommodate the financing and cash flow needs of importers and exporters. By participating in the investment round, ZIM, a multi-billion dollar industry heavyweight, has provided a major stamp of validation and confidence in the 40Seas solution."

40Seas is available as an API or stand-alone platform, both of which can be seamlessly embedded into checkout portals to improve business flow and deliver more convenience to customers. In addition to helping businesses streamline communications around order tracking, the platform utilises data-driven technology to automate decision-making processes and verify creditworthiness, the release said.

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