Major Blockchain Investor SBI Holdings Grants $15 Million to AI Startup AntWorksAug 2, 2018, 12:22PM
Japanese company SBI has expanded its portfolio through a $15 million investment in AI startup AntWorks, which wishes to enter the Asian market.
SBI Investment Co., a subsidiary of Japanese financial firm Strategic Business Innovator (SBI), has invested $15 million in AI startup Antworks in a Series A funding round, as announced by the latter.
SBI is well known for its heavy investment in blockchain startups and the new investment is a sign that it wishes to double down on the lucrative Asian market.
AntWorks, founded in 2015 by Asheesh Mehra and Govind Sandhu, is a Singaporean AI Startup that offers big data and Business Intelligence solutions to enterprises. Starting with an initial capital of $8 million, it has worked predominantly in the healthcare sector. Both parties hope that the cash injection, which will be directed towards research and development, expanding products and services, and branching out into newer markets, will liven the Asian market.
In an official press release, founder Govind Sandhu sees the funding as a way to assist emerging economies,
With this investment we will work together with SBI Group to bring end-to-end, AI-based Enterprise RPA to the globe in a way not done before. Our goal is to empower enterprises in emerging markets like Philippines, India, China, etc. - by unleashing the limitless potential of Machine Learning and Cognitive Automation. / Govind Sandhu, Co-Founder and CFO, AntWorks
President of SBI Holdings Yoshitaka Kitao expressed confidence in AntWorks potential to disrupt the Asian market,
AntWorks has risen through the ranks of global RPA, automation and artificial intelligence companies with a ferocity that’s unprecedented in the industry. We are excited with the possibilities of ANTstein, and look forward to their growth in the Asian region through our joint venture, as well as globally. / Yoshitaka Kitao, CEO of SBI Holdings
Such is SBI’s belief in the startup that it will also partake in a joint venture to tap into AI opportunities in the Southeast Asian market, though more details are yet to come.
SBI Is Heavily Invested in Blockchain
SBI makes the headlines frequently for its interest in blockchain technology. Just yesterday, the group announced the purchase of Clear Markets, a U.S. based trading platform that offers OTC electronic derivatives to the U.S., U.K. and Japanese markets.
The 12% stake that SBI expands its cryptocurrency portfolio, which previously included VCtrade (the first bank-backed exchange), ICO Platform Templum, hardware wallet maker CoolBitX, and investments in over 20 cryptocurrency projects.
SBI Holdings is also a partner of Ripple (XRP), owning a 10.5% stake in it. It launched SBI Ripple Asia to empower financial institutions and make cross-border payments easier.
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