ABN Amro and solarisBank have participated in a $14 million funding round for CrossLend, a Berlin-based startup which is endeavoring to use blockchain technology to create a European debt exchange.
Established in 2014 as a digital marketplace for loans, CrossLend majors in debt securitisation, enabling investors to build a diversified portfolio of loans while simultaneously providing new financing opportunities to small and medium-sized business across Europe.
Ultimately, CrossLend's goal is create a smart refinancing back-end for the European banking industry, unlocking barriers to the free movement of funds across borders.
Christian Nagel, a partner at venture capital investor Earlybird, which also participated in the round, is enthused by CrossLend's roadmap to transform from a digital investment bank model to a fully-fledged debt exchange.
"We strongly believe that their plan to tokenize debt items and hence introduce blockchain-based settlements will lead to more transparent loan books and at the same time more efficient debt capital markets," he says. "Global borrowers, regardless if they are SMEs or direct consumers, will benefit as markets will become more liquid. Billions of additional capital for SME financing could be unleashed - solving one of the major global issues in financial markets.”
As part of their investment, both ABN Amro and solarisBank intend to introduce the CrossLend platform across their business financing operations.
Hugo Bongers, director at ABN Amro’s Digital Impact Fund, comments: "There is a clear business opportunity in making more capital available for companies via CrossLend’s proven platform that already has significant commercial traction. CrossLend’s digital platform is very efficient in making capital available in cross-border European markets. We believe that this solution will set a possible new industry standard."