Clear, an Israel-based blockchain startup that builds settlement and clearing networks for businesses, has raised $13 million in a Series A funding round.
Fidelity International’s venture capital arm Eight Roads led the round, with participation from telecom majors Telefónica Innovation Ventures, Telekom Innovation Pool of Deutsche Telekom, HKT and Singtel Innov8, according to a statement shared with The Block on Wednesday.
Both Telefónica (Spain) and Deutsche Telekom (Germany) have previously participated in Clear’s pilot trials, along with other companies such as U.K.’s BT Group, France’s Orange and Australia’s Telstra. Clear said the Series A follows “several successful” trials with these companies, moving “tens of millions of dollars.”
Clear’s blockchain-based solution gives telecoms a shared platform to collaborate and settle payments through automation. Clear’s protocol uses cryptographic methods such as zero-knowledge proofs that help business-to-business (B2B) smart contracts to be executed with ease while retaining data control.
“Inter-Carrier billing and settlement is complex and often has manual steps. Smart Contracts and distributed ledger technology will simplify and automate billing as well as settlement,” said Federico Homberg, head of roaming business development and innovation at Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier.
Guenia Gawendo, chief innovation officer at Telefónica, said: “Blockchain adds a trust layer to our operations," adding that with Clear's solution, the company can "significantly decrease friction in the processes of financial settlement between carriers and operators, starting with the international voice services but considering to extend the impact to other core services."
Clear was founded in early 2018, and with the fresh capital in place, it looks to grow its team from the current 30 people, scale its operations in the telecom space and expand into other industries such as financial services, healthcare and more.
Editor's Note: This report and its headline have been updated to reflect that Eight Roads is the venture arm of Fidelity International.
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