Singapore Banking Fintech RootAnt Secures US$1.46M Seed Funding

The fresh funding will enable RootAnt to expand across Southeast Asia and Japan

Singapore-based Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) fintech startup RootAnt has raised US$1.46 million in seed funding, according to a statement by the company late last week.

China-based venture capital firm Linear Capital led the funding round, which also saw participation from Hong Kong-headquartered KZM & Company Group, the statement noted.

Linear Capital had also led a seed funding round of $800,000 for the company in 2018. With this round, RootAnt has raised a total of $2.3 million in funding, according to Crunchbase data.

RootAnt will be utilizing the funds towards expansion efforts across Singapore and the rest of Southeast Asia (SEA), as well as Japan, to support corporates and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the statement said.

“As the Banking-as-a-Service sector has been thriving, RootAnt’s product fits the market well. In 2020, given the challenge of COVID-19, the business of RootAnt still grew fast,” Managing Director of Linear Capital Can Zheng said in the statement. “We believe the team will keep bringing value to existing and potential clients in the Southeast Asian market.”

The statement added that the company also aims to develop its R&D processes for the development of its BANCO Engine (a cluster of core banking systems) and multi-tier financing platform for enterprises within supply chain ecosystems.

Founded in 2013, RootAnt has offices in China and Japan in addition to its Singapore headquarters. As a BaaS fintech company, RootAnt offers an embedded multi-tier financing solution that connects companies and financial institutions to digital financial products. The company enables banking and non-banking financial institutions to incorporate digital banking capabilities in their customer journeys.

Apart from the BANCO Engine, RootAnt’s multi-tier financing solution uses Digital Payment Obligation (DPO) as a financing instrument for SMEs, creating access to timely finance, faster processing and lowered financial costs.

The company also plans to launch a slew of financial solutions this year including SME Finance, Green Finance, Islamic Finance, and BANCO Chain (a blockchain network for supply chain finance).

CEO and Founder of RootAnt, Lincoln Yin said in the statement, “Through our digital and open banking technological capabilities for transaction banking, we aim to become a key player in this industry to continue supporting businesses with their financing demands as they recover from the impact of COVID-19.”

“We aim to address the financial challenges faced by businesses caused by COVID-19, and also to create avenues for business sustainability, growth and continuity. The current economic climate requires innovation and customer-focused digital solutions that truly make a difference for a more sustainable economy,” Yin also said.

COVID-19 has catalyzed the adoption of digital financial solutions including digital banking. The pandemic has generated support for digital transformation within banks and financial institutions, promoting digital and contactless transactions.

Rather than starting a new trend, the pandemic has actually accelerated a trend that was already in the making. A 2019 report shows that 47% of surveyed financial companies were likely to collaborate with fintech solution providers such as companies offering BaaS solutions.

Header image by 8photo on Freepik

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