Singapore-based digital technology firm Proxtera has on Thursday announced the successful first close of the Series Seed round of funding by Ant Group, CerraCap Ventures, and EDBI.

The funding will be used as working capital to further develop the company’s innovative digital cross-border trade and financial services enabled by trusted credentials, Proxtera said in a statement.

“We are excited to have the support of investors who share our vision and have chosen to invest in our growth,

“This funding will allow us to bring our product to more Singapore businesses, spread to select global markets, expand our bench of talented individuals and make a positive impact to MSMEs in the world of cross-border trade and finance,” said Saurav Bhattacharyya, Chief Executive Officer of Proxtera.

Proxtera is the operationalization of the Business sans Borders initiative led by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).

Its vision is to create a global, open ecosystem of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) via trusted credentials, and enable business to business (B2B) cross-border trade through services for financing and fulfillment.

“Proxtera is working on a unique mission to digitally enable MSMEs, which is in line with CerraCap’s aspiration to impact a billion lives,

“CerraCap had led Proxtera’s previous investment round in 2020 and we are pleased to further extend our investment in this round. We believe Proxtera is well placed for success, with active support from the Singapore Government and strategic investors like Ant Group,” said Vikas Datt, Partner of CerraCap Ventures.

With its launch of the SME Financial Empowerment program (for digital financial literacy), the Emerging Markets Currency Exchange – EMCX (to help SMEs easily find competitive forex rates for exotic/illiquid currencies) and Ghana Integrated Financial Corridor (GIFE), Proxtera said the firm is poised to further develop and release more digital products to cover the end-to-end digital trade journey for a B2B trade.

“These partners bring good synergies of global investor expertise in high-growth strategic industries with digital financial services and platform expertise,

“We look forward to enabling SMEs to have greater access to finance, fintech, payments and other relevant services that support businesses, employment and local economic development,” said Damien Pang, Deputy Chief FinTech Officer, FinTech Infrastructure Office and FinTech Ecosystem Office, Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Der Yao Leong, Assistant Chief Executive, Sectoral Transformation Group of IMDA, added :“From a successful Business Sans Borders Proof-of-Concept in 2018, to the launch of Proxtera, and now the closing of series seed funding, it has been an incredible journey in providing our SMEs greater access to global trade opportunities.”

“Support from strategic investors will only strengthen Singapore’s position as a leading digital hub for innovation and we look forward to more exciting milestones for Proxtera,” he added.

Jia Hang, Regional General Manager for Southeast Asia, Ant Group said :“Ant Group’s mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere, and we hope every small and micro enterprise can have equal development opportunities enabled through the adoption of digital innovation.”

He believed this is closely aligned with Proxtera’s mission to simplify and amplify trade and increase market access for SMEs using technology to grow and scale.

“We are pleased to join the other investors and partners in contributing to this collaborative effort to enhance the digital capacity and open ecosystem for the global SME community,

“We look forward to working together and bridging market access and creating more opportunities for MSMEs through digitalization of trade and financing,” he added.

ANEXT Bank launches new industry initiative to scale financial inclusion for SMEs