Global Cleantech Capital (“GCC”), a growth equity firm based in Amsterdam, is pleased to announce that it has joined Citi, the leading global bank, in leading a USD 10 million investment in portfolio company Crowdz, the California-based SME finance platform.
Global Cleantech Capital, through Fund III, co-lead the round with Citi, through its SPRINT (Spread Products Investment Technologies) team, with participation from Bold Capital Partners, TFX Capital, and Augment Ventures. Citi’s investment is part of a wider collaboration with the SME finance platform to develop SaaS receivables as an asset class.
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.
Payson E. Johnston, CEO and co-founder of Crowdz, said: “Crowdz’s collaboration with Citi, paired with this investment from our partners, including Global Cleantech Capital, signifies a new phase of growth for the company, which will allow us to expand working capital access for SMEs. We share Citi’s view of recurring revenue as a new asset class, and Crowdz’s technology – including a global receivables marketplace with risk scoring, white label for enterprises and banks, and creation of digital assets – will help enable additional investment in this area.”
Christie Franchi, Partner at GCC and Member of the Board of Crowdz, said: “Crowdz has seen incredibly strong interest since launching its marketplace in 2020. We are excited to welcome Citi as a partner to help Crowdz in its next phase of growth, bringing accessible SME finance to the market. Innovative products like the Crowdz marketplace are vital tools to help close the $2 trillion SME funding gap and fuel sustainable growth.”
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About Global Cleantech Capital
Global Cleantech Capital is a growth equity firm based in Amsterdam, investing to scale exceptional companies into new market leaders in the clean energy, mobility, smart cities, and fintech sectors in Europe and North America. Investing over USD 900 million, the GCC team has a track record of delivering attractive returns paired with ESG impact. GCC is domiciled in the Netherlands and registered with the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM).
Crowdz is modernizing invoice financing and invoicing practices, particularly for small and midsize businesses, to revolutionize the USD 9 trillion worldwide receivables market. The platform offers an alternative financing solution for small businesses that often struggle to obtain traditional bank financing. Its technology enables small businesses to sell invoices to funders for financing, reducing cash flow bottlenecks and giving small businesses working capital to survive and thrive.
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
About Citi SPRINT
SPRINT (Spread Products Investment Technologies) invests in and incubates innovative Fintech companies that provide strategic relevance and next-generation solutions to Credit Markets. SPRINT relies on its market expertise and network to help portfolio companies grow and commercialize their cutting-edge technologies.