Finovate Global Israel: Earnix Introduces New CEO, 40Seas Raises $111 Million, and a Look at Early Stage Startups

Earnix, an Israel-based company that provides insurers and banks with real-time, dynamic pricing and rating solutions, introduced a new Chief Executive Officer this week. Robin Gilthorpe will take over the top spot at the firm effective February 1st, replacing outgoing CEO Udi Ziv, who served as Earnix’s CEO for six years.

“Today’s end-customer demands unparalleled experience, alongside highly personalized and customizable solutions,” Gilthorpe said in a statement. “Earnix solutions serve as the go-to platform for financial services companies to address the growing demands of the world’s leading financial and insurance companies.”

Gilthorpe is a finance and insurance industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience at firms such as TIBCO, Vertexone, and Watersmart Software. He was most recently Chief Operating Officer at insurtech company Salty where he helped generate a “nine-figure outcome” in the firm’s sale to CDK Global.

Founded in 2001, Earnix made its Finovate debut in 2016 at FinovateSpring in San Francisco. In the years since then, the company has forged partnerships with companies like AI cloud platform DataRobot, cloud insurance software company Majesco and, last fall, J.D. Power. Also last fall, Earnix unveiled its Underwrite-It solution which helps businesses build and manage rules and decision logic to enhance decision-making during the underwriting process.

Earnix has raised more than $100 million in funding. The company includes Insight Partners, Israel Growth Partners, and Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) among its investors.

Israel-based cross-border trade financing company 40Seas secured $111 million in financing this week. The total includes $11 million in seed funding and a $100 million credit facility.

The seed funding round was led by Team8 and featured participation from ZIM Integrated Shipping Services. ZIM also was the entity behind the $100 million credit facility 40Seas received this week. The agreement comes with an option to extend the credit facility to $200 million.

40Seas leverages AI and data analytics to determine creditworthiness, and offers flexible payment arrangements to provide small importers and exporters, freight forwarders, and sourcing agencies with critical working capital. The company made its soft launch in October of last year and says that it already has financed transactions for “dozens of SMEs.”

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reports that small businesses represent more than 40% of all cross-border trade volume. Nevertheless, compared to large, multinational corporations, SMEs are “seven times more likely to be denied trade financing,” according to the World Trade Organization. Among the obstacles to these firms are siloed banking jurisdictions, working capital constraints, legacy processes, and more. To this end, 40Seas helps exporters get paid as quickly as possible and gives importers payment options that enable them to grow their businesses without incurring sizable additional debt.

“Given today’s harsh macroeconomic conditions, now more than ever, SMEs need easy access to financing to have the best chance of survival,” 40Seas co-founder and CEO Eyal Moldovan said.

40Seas is headquartered in Tel Aviv and has offices in New York City, Toronto, and Shenzhen.

Last month CTech published a short list of what it called the “five most promising early-stage fintech startups” in Israel. The list was based on the opinions of “prominent investors in the Israeli market” and looked at both “business potential” and “managerial depth.”

The businesses represented included travel insurance (Faye), an automated accounting platform (Trullion), a compliance platform (Sedric), a loan exchange for SMEs (Lama AI), and a payments workflow automation company (Nilus). Combined, the five companies have raised more than $47 million in funding from investors including Viola Ventures, F2, Third Point Ventures, Greycroft, Homeward Ventures, StageOne, Foundational Capital, and Bessemer Venture Partners.

We’ll keep an eye on these and other innovative fintechs that are helping build Israel’s unique fintech ecosystem.

Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.

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Middle East and Northern Africa

Photo by Haley Black