Barclays Bank has backed a $5.5 million Series A funding round for blockchain-based B2B payments startup Crowdz.
The round was jointly led by Barclays and investment firm Bold Capital Partners, Crowdz announced Tuesday, with TFX Capital Partners, Techstars Ventures and First Derivatives also participating.
The investment will go toward product development, marketing and sales, as well as team hiring, according to the firm.
Crowdz sets out to disrupt the payments industry with a focus on $9 trillion global receivables market via its blockchain-based “Invoice Exchange.” The service allows companies to automatically digitize invoices and speed up payment collections.
Kevin Hopkins, a former White House economist and now Crowdz’s chief strategist, said that 90 percent of the world’s annual inventory of more than 400 billion invoices are still manually processed.
Crowdz co-founder and CEO, Payson E. Johnston, said:
“We founded Crowdz with the goal of ensuring that all small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) in particular have access to the cashflow they need in order to survive and grow. Unfortunately, millions of these companies – which account for 75% of global B2B commerce and which need invoice financing the most – have long been excluded from the market.”
While SMEs often have to wait for up to 120 days or more to get paid, Invoice Exchange enables companies to get paid “within a few days or less,” he added.
Invoice Exchange also offers an auction platform, via which companies can submit their invoices for banks or investors to make offers for financing without filing additional paperwork, according to Crowdz.
Crowdz’s angel investors include Chris Adelsbach, venture partner at Techstars Ventures; Susan Standiford, CTO at IKEA; and Dr. Jürgen Wolff, founder and former CEO of Mercedes Pay, according to the announcement.
Barclays image via Shutterstock