40Seas, an innovative fintech startup is hoping to close the $1.7 trillion global trade finance gap, providing a solution that enables digital B2B payment functionality while facilitating cross-border trade between SMEs. While SMEs account for 43% of cross-border trade volume but are more likely to be denied access to trade financing than multinational companies. 40Seas’ $11 million seed funding round, led by Team8 with participation from ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd., is complemented by a $100 million credit facility for exporters and importers. The fintech platform leverages AI and data-driven technology, offering flexible payment options that are primed to disrupt legacy trade-financing solutions by extending 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 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 utilizes data-driven technology to automate decision-making processes and verify creditworthiness.