Singapore’s blockchain-based B2B network Clear raises US$13M Series A funding led by Fidelity’s VC arm
Clear, a Singapore-based startup that provides a settlement system for cross-border B2B trading using the blockchain technology, has secured US$13 million in Series A round of funding from Eight Roads, the venture arm of US-based Fidelity.
The round was also joined by the venture subsidiaries of telecommunications companies Telefonica, Deutsche Telekom, Hong Kong Telecom (HKT), and Singtel, according to a Coindesk report.
Clear states that it will use the money to expand its team and telecoms operations. It will also explore possible integrations in other industries, including the financial services and energy sectors.
With the blockchain technology, Clear seeks to reduce B2B trading’s friction in complex global business trade valued at US$150 trillion in 2018. Clear’s co-founder Eran Haggiag said such friction allows banks and other middle-men to collect fees amounting to over US$140 billion a year.
“The amounts enterprises spend on processing these payments, managing the contracts around them, checking data and invoices each month, deploying and managing the software to support them is a few times the cost of those fees, costing trillions globally each year,” said Clear’s spokesperson.
Using an interoperable technology stack that can cut through all these friction-inducing processes, the company said it’s able to automate data management, payments, and clearing to reduce transaction fees and human error and offer instant cross-border settlements.
The solution also provides a smart contract layer that can speed conflict resolution processes so they can take place on an ongoing basis rather than how it currently is, which is at the end of the month. To widen its reach and encourage as many companies as possible to use Clear, the platform is designed to support and operate on multiple blockchain protocols.
Clear initially focussed on the telecoms sector and has facilitated sales between multiple mobiles and network providers since 2018. The company said that it has plans to be integrated across a wide range of industries.
HKT Group Managing Director Susanna Hui said the Clear integration could be crucial for creating new products and services with the rollout of 5G network capabilities.
“Enterprises can now push boundaries and allow faster innovation and faster go-to-market of products and business models,” she said.