According to a press release on 28 May, Barclays bank has led a $5.5 million Series A funding round for Silicon Valley start-up Crowdz .The round of funding was co-led by Bold Capital Partners and joined by Techstars Ventures, TFX Capital Partners, and First Derivatives.
The cash injection will be used to launch the banking industry’s first global blockchain– based Invoice Exchange that promises to revolutionise the $9 trillion worldwide receivables market. Specifically, the funds will be used for product development, sales, marketing, as well as crucial team hires.
Crowdz is delving into the B2B space to fill an existing gap in invoice processing and automation. According to the press release, Crowdz, with its built-in business-to-business (B2B) payment gateway, will enable companies to digitise invoices automatically, expedite invoice-payment collections, fast-track the cash-conversion cycle, and automatically associate orders, invoices, and payments with one another.
Additionally, companies will use the Crowdz’s proprietary auction platform to submit their invoices for investor financing without filing additional paperwork. Moreover, the platform will enable the companies to receive several offers for funding at the lowest rates.
Emphasising on the importance of the Invoice Exchange to small and midsize enterprises (SMEs), Payson Johnston, CEO, Crowdz, said:
“While companies of all sizes can benefit greatly from our global Invoice Exchange, 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,”
He further alluded to the problems facing small and midsize enterprises by saying:
“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.”
Payson noted that modern invoicing methods have only compounded the problem of delays in manual invoice handling. He further expounded that due to the delays, SMEs often suffer from cash flow problems since they have to wait for between 90 to 120 days or more to receive their payments.
The investment by Barclays follows the participation of Crowdz by the bank to participate in its late 2018 Accelerator programme after it was selected.