Fidelity’s investment arm Eight Roads, previously known as Fidelity Ventures, has led a $13 million Series A funding round for Israeli blockchain startup Clear, TechCrunch announced on 5 February.
According to the announcement, Clear will use the new capital to expand its 30-strong team and telecom operations, as well as to look into possible integrations in other industries. The Israeli-based startup is a provider of a blockchain-based settlement system for cross-border B2B trading, which aims to reduce the friction in complex global business trade.
Participating in the Clear Series A funding round were a number of venture funds belonging to global telecoms leaders, such as Spain’s Telefónica Innovation Ventures, Hong Kong telco HKT, Singapore’s Singtel Innov8, and the Telekom Innovation Pool of Germany’s Deutsche Telekom.
As seen from the investors list, Clear’s initial focus for integration was in the telecoms sector, in which the company has facilitated millions of dollars worth of sales between mobile and network providers since 2018. What the company does, is to take commercial contracts and convert them into smart contracts.
Gal Hochberg, co-founder of Clear, said:
“What that lets us do is create a trusted view of the true status of the relationship within the company’s business partners because they’re now looking at the same pricing and usage. They can find any issues in real time, either in commercial information or in service delivery, and they can even actually resolve those inside our platform.”
The company has also claimed that through the use of smart contracts, it is possible to speed up the conflict resolution process, as it takes place on an ongoing basis, rather than at the end of the month.
Hochberg also said:
“We use blockchain technology to create those interactions in ways that it is auditable, cryptographically secure and ensures that both sides are synced and seeing the same information.”
Last year in November, Telefónica became a member of the open-source blockchain project Hyperledger, which is hosted by the Linux Foundation.