Barclays-Backed B2B Payments App Crowdz Lands $5.5-million Series A Funding

Barclays B2B business-to-business Crowdz blockchain cryptocurrencies bitcoin

A B2B payments app powered by blockchain has completed a Series A funding round, led by investors including banking giant Barclays.

The funding round saw Crowdz raise $5.5 million from investors that will be used to fund development of the product, marketing and expanding the team, according to a statement from the company.

Crucially, the funding round was led by Barclays, in the latest example of a mainstream global bank warming to businesses in the blockchain space.

The funding round was led by Barclays and Bold Capital Partners, with further contributions coming from TFX Capital Partners, Techstars Ventures and First Derivatives.

Crowdz aims to revolutionize the global receivables market, valued at $9 trillion, with its Invoice Exchange system powered by blockchain. According to the firm, the technology will make it easier for businesses to automate invoicing and collection.

Payson E. Johnston, CEO of Crowdz, said the app would be particularly beneficial for smaller businesses in need of reliable cash flow.

“We founded Crowdz with the goal of ensuring that all small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) in particular have access to the cash flow they need in order to survive and grow. Unfortunately, millions of these companies – which account for 75 percent of global B2B commerce and which need invoice financing the most – have long been excluded from the market.”

The Invoice Exchange platform allows companies to submit invoices for sale on an auction basis, matching companies with investors for quicker settlement – rather than the 120 days many small businesses are waiting to receive payments at the moment.

The funding round is the latest evidence of mainstream investors mobilizing around blockchain technology, despite initial reticence around blockchain and cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

With Crowdz well positioned to challenge with its technology, the hope is that the app will serve SME customers with more effective financing, while providing another route for investors to benefit from blockchain tech.

John Stecher, chief technology and innovation officer at Barclays, said the bank was looking forward to working further with the technology.

“Crowdz is pushing the boundaries of B2B payments with its revolutionary Invoice Exchange ... 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.”