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Crowdz Closes $2M in Series A+

CAMPBELL, CA, Crowdz announced it has closed a Series A+ round, with the introduction of $2 million.
Invoice financing marketplace Crowdz, has today announced it has closed a Series A+ round, with the introduction of $2 million to bolster its original Series A, despite global venture capital funding plummeting by an estimated 20 percent since COVID-19 began.

Crowdz has raised to-date $9.1M in funding, led by Bold Capital Partners, with investment from Augment Ventures and TFX Capital building on $6.1 million led by Barclays bank & Bold last year.

The round comes as Crowdz reports 5000 percent growth in business users, accelerated by a surge in demand to improve cash flow, due to COVID-19. Crowdz, which provides a marketplace for businesses to sell unpaid invoices to investors in exchange for cash, has seen a surge in demand from small businesses in need of urgent funding due to the pandemic shutdowns, as an alternative or in addition to the SBA's controversial Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, or traditional bank loans.

The company will use the funding to bolster its product roadmap and launch globally, with the UK in its immediate sights.

Crowdz CEO and founder Payson Johnston said the invoice financing would become a vital part of the recovery process for businesses post COVID-19, with government assistance over-exhausted and risk appetite from banks non-existent.

"Unpaid and late invoices cost SMEs as much as $3 trillion annually, with cash flow issues the leading cause of business failure. We know in ordinary circumstances, 78 percent of accounts payable departments admit to paying invoices late, let alone during a pandemic."

"For the millions of business owners around the world who have spent decades of their lives and their savings building their businesses, only to be wiped out in a matter of weeks, Crowdz is able to provide a lifeline where governments and banks cannot. Government loans like PPP were too hard to access, or the terms of forgiveness were out of reach for the smallest of businesses with surmounting expenses," said Johnston.

"With support from some outstanding investors, plus a raft of new strategic partnerships, Crowdz plans to help SMEs hardest hit by COVID-19 get back on their feet. More broadly, this new investment round will enable us to increase our capacity to fund more businesses, enabling us to make the market more efficient, reduce the risk of a COVID-19 credit bubble, and most importantly, help to rebuild the economy," he said.

New products to support a new post-COVID economy to support rapid growth

As more SMEs than ever seek financing, Crowdz' product roadmap will be tailored towards supporting SME growth, as well as delivering value to the enterprise and investors, with new offerings.

This will include Crowdz' proprietary SMART Score, the market's most accurate, real-time risk assessment, with a number of inputs such as Edward Altman's famed Z-Score* and Probability of Default, and ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) reputational risk. The product will be available in 2021 as a standalone offering to enable funders, banks, and enterprises to track the risk of buying receivables and monitor real-time risk in supply chains.

Crowdz is further expanding its offering to support alternative revenue streams, including its whitelabel offering - Supply Chain Finance as a Service (SCFaaS). Crowdz' will also continue to grow its in-house finance facility, which it launched during the pandemic to make a return on invoices within its marketplace, by fully funding, or part-funding alongside other investors on the platform.

Teymour Boutros-Ghali, Managing Partner of BOLD Capital Partners, said "Given the state of global economies, and the growing need for alternative sources of finance, especially for SMEs, this is clearly an industry that is ripe for disruption. We believe Crowdz has the expertise to accomplish that.

"The company has shown it has the capacity to build out enterprise accounts, start pushing on big international deals and expand teams. Our goal is to ensure they have the ability to accelerate their burn rate to achieve this growth," he said.

The announcement builds on Crowdz' latest partnerships which include integrations with Inuit Quickbooks, Zoho Books and Xero. The company has also been admitted as a member of the COVID-19 Fintech Taskforce, responding to the urgent need for financial support from UK SMEs impacted by the pandemic, as well as a participant in the UK's FCA Sandbox testing.

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About Crowdz
Crowdz is modernizing invoice financing and invoicing practices, particularly for small and midsize enterprises, to revolutionize the $9 trillion worldwide receivables market.

Founded in 2014, Crowdz is headed by its co-founder and CEO, Payson E. Johnston, who served for 18 years' as global B2B supply-chain Senior Manager for Cisco. In 2019, Crowdz closed a $6.1M Series A led by Barclays Bank and BOLD Capital Partners. Crowdz's technologies are covered by multiple pending patents.

Crowdz is a graduate of the world-renowned Techstars, 500 Startups, and Plug & Play accelerator programs. Investors in Crowdz include; Barclays, Bold Capital Partners, Techstars, Augment Ventures, Task Force Capital. Angel investors in Crowdz include; Chris Adelsbach, Managing Director of Techstars; Susan Standiford, Chief Technology Officer for IKEA; and Dr. Jurgen Wolff, Founder and Former Chief Executive Officer of Mercedes Pay.
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