Israeli-based blockchain startup Clear has raised $13 million in a Series A funding round led by Fidelity’s venture investment arm Eight Roads.
The startup aims at providing secure business-to-business (B2B) transactions for telecommunication firms based on blockchain technology.
Clear Raises $13 Million To Fund B2B Transactions
In a press release on TechCrunch, blockchain developer Clear announced that it raised $13 million in a Series A funding round led by Eight Roads, a global venture firm backed by Fidelity Ventures.
Other participants in the funding round for the blockchain developer include telecom giants such as Spain’s Telefónica Innovation Ventures, Germany’s Deutsche Telekom, Hong Kong telco HKT and Singapore’s Singtel Innov8.
Speaking on behalf of the blockchain firm, co-founder Gal Hochberg said Clear builds 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.”
Furthermore, Hochberg explained that Clear’s blockchain-based solution provides a shared platform for businesses to collaborate and settle payments through automation. Also, by using blockchain technology, the firm can foster B2B transactions that are auditable and cryptographically secure.
Telefónica’s Chief Innovation Officer Guenia Gawendo commented that Blockchain adds a layer of trust to operations and helps to significantly decrease friction in the processes of the financial settlement between carriers and operators.
According to Hochberg, Gawendo’s comments align with the early use case for Clear’s blockchain-based transaction system which involved the automated transfer of funds between telecom giants.
The funds raised in the Series A round will enable Clear to engage in full carrier-grade production within the first half of 2020. Also, the blockchain developer has plans to expand into other verticals and industries other than telecoms.
Fidelity Pursuing Crypto and Blockchain Adoption
The financial services behemoth has shown an increased interest in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry since 2018 with a plethora of developments ranging from crypto charity events to launching its own digital asset company.
Back in October 2018, Fidelity Investments announced the launch of its digital asset services company – Fidelity Digital Asset Services LLC to enable its institutional clients to have access to bitcoin and ether cryptocurrencies. According to reports, the firm planned to source coins from large over-the-counter digital exchanges and sell to family offices, hedge funds, and other monetary ventures.
In February 2019, Fidelity announced the set up of Fidelity Bitcoin Custody, becoming the first mainstream financial services provider to operate a custody service. Later in November 2019, the New York State Department of Financial Services granted Fidelity Digital Asset Servies a trust license giving the crypto firm permission to launch a cryptocurrency custody and trade execution platform.
Head of Fidelity Digital Assets Tom Jessop revealed that the company has plans to include support for the Ethereum cryptocurrency on its custody and trading platform back in December 2019. According to Jessop, Fidelity has done a lot of research on the crypto and is expected to launch support sometime in 2020.
In other blockchain-related news, payments portal powerhouse Visa announced the launch of the Visa B2B Connect network powered by the HyperLedge Fabric Blockchain Framework, as reported by Blockonomi back in June 2019.