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SBI Investments, a subsidiary of SBI Holdings of Japan, has invested $15 million to artificial intelligence (AI) startup AntWorks of Singapore as it signals its expansion in the Asian financial technology (fintech) market.

In a press statement, AntWorks said its Series A funding would fund their next level of growth in artificial intelligence and enterprise (RPA), fortify their sales and marketing engine, drive research and Development, and boost their venture into newer markets.

Asheesh Mehra, founder and group CEO of AntWorks commented:

“When Govind Sandhu and I started AntWorks with a small, passionate group of people, the dream was to create a company that would serve as a catalyst for enterprises on their digitization journey. SBI Holdings reposing this faith in us with both the investment and the joint venture is validation and an opportunity to grow and come into what we have always believed AntWorks can be – a true leader forging a new path, reimagining business as usual.”

Mehra expressed gratitude towards SBI Holdings and all the employees, partners, analysts and well-wishers who made their journey possible. “May we remain fresh in our approach, fearless in embracing change and fast in learning, adapting and delivering on everything we stand for as AntWorks,” he said.

AntwWorks co-founder and CFO Govind Sandhu added that the SBI investments would enhance the company's end-to-end, AI-based enterprise to a whole new level. He said their "goal is to empower enterprises in emerging markets like Philippines, India, and China" by allowing them to release the limitless potential of cognitive automation and machine learning.

“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,”

said Yoshitaka Kitao, representative director, president, and CEO of SBI Holdings, Inc.

He added SBI Group is actively involved in introducing RPA solutions to financial institutions in Japan and is firmly committed to the future of this field.

SBI’s blockchain portfolios

SBI has been making headlines recently for its aggressive investments in the [G18] blockchain. On Wednesday, its unit SBI Crypto Investment, took a 12% stake in digital marketplaces developer Clear Market, marking SBI’s latest expansion in the digital currency space.

Late last month, the Tokyo-based financial conglomerate announced that its in-house digital currency trading platform VCTRADE went online, making way for the world’s first bank-backed cryptocurrency exchange.