Investors led by venture capital firm Team8 and liner operator Zim have provided $111m in financing to 40Seas, an Israeli fintech start-up.
The technology company, which has developed a cross-border trade finance and B2B payment platform, picked up $11m in seed funding. New York-listed Zim is providing a $100m credit facility, which 40Seas has an option to extend to $200m.
The new financing sees the Tel Aviv-headquartered firm exit stealth mode, a period in which some start-ups keep their funding activities under wraps.
40Seas aims to provide more efficient and cost-effective cross-border financing for small and medium-size enterprises in the global commerce world.
The company wants to play a role in closing a $1.7trn gap caused by the large role that businesses of this size play in global commerce and the frequency with which they are denied trade financing.
Eyal Moldovan, 40Seas’ co-founder and chief executive, said the trade finance landscape has not evolved much for small and medium-size business in the 25 years since he was a kid watching his father struggle to get extended payment terms and trade finance for his import business.
“Given today’s harsh macroeconomic conditions, now more than ever, SMEs need easy access to financing to have the best chance of survival,” he said.
“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.”
In addition to providing credit, Zim will embed 40Seas into the freight forwarding services of its Ship4wd digital platform, which is also targeted at small and medium-sized businesses.
“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,” Zim chief executive Eli Glickman said.
“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.”