Barclays bank and BOLD Capital Partners, an investment firm have led the funding round for a FinTech startup named “Crowdz.” The investment round involved $5.5 million. The startup seeks to develop a blockchain-based global Invoice Exchange. Crowdz made this announcement via a press release yesterday. Other investors include TFX Capital Partners, Techstars Ventures and First Derivatives.
Crowdz will use these funds in product development, sales and marketing, and hiring a team. The startup noted that it designed the Invoice Exchange to transform the global receivables market. According to a report, the blockchain would increase the efficiency of invoice processing. It would achieve this by digitizing and automating manual processes. The technology would also automate the process of finding and sending invoices to investors.
SMEs Set to Benefit from the Global Invoice Exchange
Payson E. Johnson, the CEO of Crowdz believes that faster invoice processing is important to SMEs.
Today, small and midsize businesses often have to wait for a financially crushing 90 to 120 days or more to get paid. It’s no wonder that more than half of them suffer cash-flow problems during any given year. However, with the Crowdz Invoice Exchange, these often struggling companies can get paid within a few days or less-at rates usually far less than available elsewhere in the market.
According to Johnson, firms of all sizes can take advantage of the worldwide Invoice Exchange. However, Crowdz aims to ensure all SMEs have access to cashflow for them to survive and grow. He noted that SMEs account for 75 percent of global B2B commerce. However, millions of such business have faced exclusion from the market for years. Therefore, they need invoice financing the most.
Disrupting a $9 million Industry
Kevin Hopkins, Crowdz’ chief strategist noted that Mesopotamia invented the first primitive forms of invoices 3,500 years ago. He added that the word “invoice” has existed for close to 500 years. However, despite being in the digital age, firms across the globe still make 90 percent of invoices manually.
BOLD Capital Partners’ Teymour Boutros-Ghali believes that Crowdz is the best firm to disrupt the invoice sector. Today, the invoice industry has more than $9 trillion in receivables globally.
Crowdz shares the goal of transforming the payments sector with Barclays. According to John Stecher, the chief technology and innovation officer at Barclays, Crowdz is pushing the limits of B2B payments with its Invoice Exchange.
Other than investing in Crowdz, Barclays proved that it is interested in the blockchain in April this year. Reportedly, the bank joined a pilot that trialed the blockchain in streamlining real-estate transactions. Instant Property Network carried out the trial using R3’s Corda blockchain.
Do you think Barclays’ support for blockchain projects will help the sector achieve mass adoption? Let us know in the comments below.
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