Israel-based startup Clear, which builds blockchain-based networks and applications for B2B commerce, has raised US$13 million in a series A round led by the Fintech Strategic Investments group at Fidelity-backed Eight Roads.
Other participants in the Series A for Clear were the venture funds of several global telecoms leaders: Spain’s Telefónica Innovation Ventures, the Telekom Innovation Pool of Germany’s Deutsche Telekom, Hong Kong telco HKT and Singapore’s Singtel Innov8. As part of the deal, Eight Roads’ Fintech Strategic Investments head Alokik Advani will be joining Clear’s board.
Clear’s co-founder Gal Hochberg said the company build blockchain networks for high-volume high-speed B2B transactions based on blockchain technology. Also, Hochberg said that the blockchain firm takes commercial contracts and turns them into digital representations popularly known as a smart contract. He further remarked that:
“What that lets us do is create a trusted view of the true status of the relationship within the company’s business partners because they’re now looking at the same pricing and usage. They can find any issues in real-time, either in commercial information or in service delivery, and they can even actually resolve those inside our platform.”
The company’s B2B transactions is said to account for US$150 trillion of annual global trade, earning banks upwards of US$140 billion in transaction fees. The overhead cost for businesses to reconcile data, settle contracts, and process invoices also amounts to trillions of dollars in expenses.
B2B Smart Contracts
To counter the overhead challenges, Clear is developing a blockchain-based platform to help enterprises automate contracts and data management. Its solution provides automatic payments and clearing, cuts transaction fees and long payment cycles, and manages fraud prevention efforts.
Clear said its protocol allows B2B smart contracts to be executed seamlessly, while retaining data control, fidelity, and confidentiality. The end product is a shared platform for telcos to collaborate and settle payments more easily through automation. Clear claimed it has already implemented several trials in the telecoms industry, with clients such as BT Group, Colt, Deutsche Telekom, PCCW Global, Telefonica, Telstra, Tata, and Orange, among others.