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Citi invests in SME finance platform Crowdz

Citi invests in SME finance platform Crowdz

Citi has led a $10 million funding round for Crowdz as part of a wider collaboration with the SME finance platform to develop SaaS receivables as an asset class.

Citi, through its Spread Products Investment Technologies (Sprint) team, co-led the round with Global Cleantech Capital, with participation from Bold Capital Partners, TFX Ventures, and Augment Ventures.

Crowdz integrates with SMEs’ accounting, payment processing, and banking systems to allow firms to get paid early at competitive rates. Targeting small businesses that often struggle to obtain traditional bank financing, the platform enables users to sell invoices to funders for financing, reducing cash flow bottlenecks and providing working capital.

The platform includes proprietary risk scoring that gives banks and DeFi lenders access to risk-adjusted, diversified returns, while helping to plug the SME finance gap.

The new money will be used to fuel global expansion to meet Crowdz' target of providing 25,000 SMEs with over $1 billion in working capital in 2023.

Citi plans to collaborate with Crowdz to grow recurring revenue finance as an asset class, with a particular focus on SaaS businesses, and expand its ability to help SMEs unlock cash flow through receivable financing.

Katya Chupryna, head, Citi Sprint, says: "While we have been extremely impressed with Crowdz’s traction in the traditional invoice receivables financing space, we are particularly excited about the burgeoning asset class of SaaS receivables. Only a small fraction of the $170BN in yearly SaaS revenues are currently represented in financial products, indicating a massive opportunity for expansion.

"Through accretive synergies between Crowdz’s innovative technological solutions and Citi, the leading global bank, we see the potential to meaningfully develop SaaS receivables as an asset class."

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