Fintech Innovator Crowdz Raises $5.5M in Series A Funding Led by Barclays Bank and Bold Capital Partners
Tuesday, May 28, 2019 9:10 AM
Premier Silicon-Valley startup launching industry's first global invoice exchange to revolutionize $9 trillion receivables market
SAN JOSE, CA / ACCESSWIRE / May 28, 2019 / Silicon Valley-based Crowdz, a premier startup in the booming Fintech space, announced today that it had closed a Series A investment round of $5.5 million to launch the banking industry's first global Invoice Exchange™, designed to revolutionize the $9 trillion worldwide receivables market. 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. "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."
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.
Prospering as Never Before Possible
Crowdz sees tremendous opportunity in an industry that has remained relatively unchanged for decades if not for centuries. "Primitive forms of invoices were first used some 3,500 years ago in Mesopotamia, and the word 'invoice' has been around for nearly 500 years," notes Kevin Hopkins, a former White House economist and now Crowdz's chief strategist. "And yet, a quarter century into a flourishing digital age, 90% of the world's annual inventory of more than 400 billion invoices are still manually processed."
The delays associated with this time-consuming manual invoice handling are compounded by modern invoicing practices. "Today," says CEO Johnston, "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," Johnston concludes. "This change alone not only will make life easier for small and midsize company leaders, but also will enable these businesses to grow and prosper in ways never before possible."
San Jose, California, USA, based Crowdz is leading the way in modernizing invoice financing and invoicing practices, particularly for small and midsize enterprises. Founded in 2014, Crowdz is headed by its co-founder and CEO, Payson E. Johnston, who served for 18 years' as global supply-chain Senior Manager for Cisco, the global networking giant. Overall, Crowdz's executive team has a combined 100+ years of top-level experience in business finance, banking, B2B and B2C commerce, supply-chain operations, and development. Crowdz's technologies are covered by seven pending patents.
Crowdz is also a graduate of the world-renowned Techstars, 500 Startups, and Plug & Play accelerator programs. Barclays Techstars London program-for which Crowdz was among the only 2% of applicants worldwide who were selected to participate in the program's Spring 2018 cohort- was recently ranked the #1 European Accelerator.
For more information on Crowdz, please visit:
Barclays, Great Britain's second-largest bank, was founded in London in 1690 and now boasts more than 325 years of history and expertise in banking. With operations in more than 40 countries across the globe, Barclays employs approximately 120,000 people and has £1.213 trillion ($1.54 trillion) in assets under management. A 2011 study ranked Barclays as the most powerful corporation in the world in terms of its contribution to global financial stability. At the heart of Barclays' strategy is building on its strength as a transatlantic consumer, corporate, and investment bank anchored in its two home markets of the United Kingdom and the United States. For more information about Barclays, please visit:
About BOLD Capital Partners
BOLD Capital Partners manages a family of funds targeting investments in early stage and growth technology companies. BOLD seeks to back and partner with unique entrepreneurs who leverage exponential technologies to transform the world and create innovative solutions for humanities' grand challenges. BOLD offers these entrepreneurs deep startup and operating experience and access to its exponential ecosystem that combines the networks of its general partners, which includes Dr. Peter Diamandis and Singularity University, a global learning and innovation community with one of the world's leading faculties and influential alumni base. BOLD is headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., with an office in Silicon Valley. For more information on BOLD, please visit https://www.boldcapitalpartners.com.
About TFX Capital Partners
TFX Capital Partners is a Charlotte, N.C., Veteran-led advisory and investment firm focused on accelerating the growth of seed and early-stage Veteran businesses and startups. By properly supporting and connecting these individuals, TFX believes that these companies will reach their performance goals, execute in their marketplaces, and achieve their missions faster than their peers. TFX partners with passionate and driven Veteran founders who can bring together highly talented teams that can disrupt current technology and business-services markets and create collective success. They see a great, untapped opportunity in driven Veteran leaders, with the goal of helping these leaders to build long-term companies with strong fundamentals. For more information please visit: https://www.tfxcap.com.
Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Techstars' founders connect with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporations to build their growing roster of currently participating & alumni companies. The Techstars network operates nearly 40 accelerator programs throughout the world and provides a wide variety of mission-critical services to innovative technology startups through its four divisions: Techstars Startup Programs, Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs, Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships, and the Techstars Venture Capital Fund. Techstars-supported companies have raised more than US$4.6 billion in funding. According to the Government of the UK, "Techstars classes itself as the number 1 startup accelerator in the world. They are very selective-whilst thousands of companies apply each year, [Techstars] invests money and time in only about 10 companies per program location. Their selection rates are lower than the Ivy League, so you have to be among the best to earn investment from Techstars." For more details on Techstars, please see: http://www.techstars.com.
About First Derivatives
First Derivatives Group is a global technology provider with 20 years' experience working with some of the world's largest finance, technology, retail, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, and energy institutions. The Group's Kx technology, incorporating the kdb+ time-series database, is a leader in high-performance, in-memory computing, streaming analytics, and operational intelligence. Kx delivers the best possible performance and flexibility for high-volume, data-intensive analytics and applications across multiple industries. The Group operates from 14 offices across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific, including its headquarters in Newry, Ireland, and employs more than 2,400 people worldwide. For more details on First Derivatives please see: www.firstderivatives.com; and for information on Kx, please visit: www.kx.com.
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