BLOCKCHAIN

Barclays Invests $5.5 Million Into Blockchain Invoice Exchange Crowdz

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA — Silicon Valley-based Crowdz has raised $5.5 million during a closed Series A investment round to launch the banking industry’s first global Invoice Exchange, designed to revolutionize the $9 trillion worldwide receivables market.

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“Crowdz is pushing the boundaries of B2B payments with its revolutionary Invoice Exchange,” adds John Stecher, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, Barclays.

“Our team is excited to see them enter this next phase of growth, and look forward to supporting them further as they work to disrupt the payments industry, providing a superior service to our customers and clients.”

The round was led by Barclays Bank and BOLD Capital Partners, with additional investments coming from TFX Capital Partners, Techstars Ventures, and First Derivatives. The funds will be used for product development, marketing, and sales, as well as key team hires.

Crowdz’s blockchain-based Invoice Exchange, with its built-in business-to-business (B2B) payment gateway, allows companies of all sizes to automatically digitize invoices, speed up invoice-payment collections, accelerate the cash-conversion cycle, and automatically associate orders, invoices, and payments with one another for more efficient settlement purposes-a transformative invoicing process that Crowdz calls “metavoicing.”

Additionally, through the Invoice Exchange’s proprietary auction platform, companies can submit their invoices for bank or investor financing without filing additional paperwork, and ultimately can receive offers from dozens of funders for financing at the lowest possible rates.

“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,” says Payson E. Johnston, co-founder and CEO of Crowdz.

“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. We are pleased to have Barclays and Bold as our strategic partners as we accelerate this journey.”

AN INDUSTRY RIPE FOR DISRUPTION

On its investment in Crowdz, Teymour Boutros-Ghali, Managing Partner of BOLD Capital Partners, emphasizes that “with more than $9 trillion in receivables globally, this is clearly an industry that is ripe for disruption and we believe that Crowdz is just the team to accomplish that.”

Crowdz’s mission to disrupt the payments industry also aligns with support for financial innovation at Barclays.

Angel investors in Crowdz include; Chris Adelsbach, Venture Partner at Techstars Ventures; Susan Standiford, Chief Technology Officer for IKEA; and Dr. Jürgen Wolff, Founder and Former Chief Executive Officer of Mercedes Pay.

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ALTCOIN, BLOCKCHAIN, RIPPLE

Barclays, Ripple Back $1.7 Million Round for Remittance Firm SendFriend

Remittance service SendFriend announced it has raised $1.7M in total capital to better enable overseas Filipino workers a secure way to transfer U.S. dollars to Philippine Pisos at the lowest rate available.


“We are humbled by the support of our investors, who share in our vision to reduce the costs and improve the experience for the millions of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who send money home to support their families,” said David Lighton, SendFriend co-founder and Chief Executive Officer.

“This investment will allow us to build out our team, focus on community engagement, and marketing efforts.”

The funding comes from MIT Media Lab, Barclays, the Mastercard Foundation, Ripple, Techstars, Mahindra Finance, 2020 Ventures, and 8 Decimal Capital.

“SendFriend has built strong partnerships along its supply chain, while developing a foundation to significantly minimize friction in the system. This is a highly competitive space with longtime incumbents, but we are confident in the success of SendFriend,” said Yubo Ruan, Founder of 8 Decimal Capital.

“SendFriend has a good combination of an experienced team, large $650 billion remittance market, investors that provide more than just capital, and a growth strategy focused on more than revenue from transactions including APIs and white-label solutions.”

More than $45 billion in fees on remittance services, which often take 3-5 days, was spent last year by the millions of migrants in the U.S. who send home more than $650 billion in remittances.

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SendFriend will launch as the only option for OFWs to securely and reliably send money internationally with fees that are 65% lower than the industry average as it replaces the frictions and fees of the banking system with one seamless, ultra low cost experience to send money globally.

Through a partnership with blockchain company Ripple, SendFriend leverages xRapid to create a seamless money transfer experience.

XRP is used as a liquidity vehicle for cross-border payments, enabling SendFriend to circumvent the corresponding banking system and convert USD to XRP to PHP in a matter of seconds.

Founded at MIT by a group of experienced individuals with roots at The World Bank and MoneyGram who believe that there is a better way for Overseas Filipino Workers to support their families from afar, SendFriend was accepted into the Barclays Accelerator Program, Powered by Techstars, to further build out its customer-first solution.

SendFriend plans to launch in New Jersey but will soon be available to OFWs in other states via desktop and mobile.

Customers can now request early access and claim three fee-free transactions by visiting https://www.sendfriend.io/

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