We’re proud to announce that Crowdz has succeeded with recent funding efforts, allowing us to move towards our ambitious goal of financing $1 billion worth of invoices for small and medium businesses (SMBs) over the next 12 months.
Through two series A funding rounds over the last year, we’ve secured $7 million dollars of capital from a diverse group of high-profile, trusted investment partners.
Led by Dutch impact capital firm Global Cleantech Capital, plus California-based BOLD Capital Partners, Augment Ventures, and Celestica‘s COO Todd Cooper, the capital injections bring Crowdz’ total capital raised to $13.8 million, despite the global pandemic. In fact, it’s Crowdz’ rapid growth during the pandemic that’s allowed this to happen.
As recovery begins, growth must keep pace too
The lessons from a global pandemic are clear: our detailed and complex economies are connected, none more so than in the supply chains that span the globe. When everything stops, everyone stops. To restart, the same principle must apply.
Speaking on the recent capital investment, our CEO and co-founder Payson Johnston says: “It’s gratifying to see that venture capital leaders want to engage in equitable investing by funding sustainability-focused businesses like Crowdz.”
Investors are clearly confident that the economic recovery has begun, but also acknowledge that it needs to happen at every level. In purely practical terms, post-pandemic commercial funding is being directed towards the initiatives that are significantly impacting the recovery of micro-economies on which global recovery stands.
By offering an alternative route to equitable, risk-assessed financing, Crowdz is enabling SMBs to access their resources faster. This matters more than ever if these businesses are to keep up with the fundamentals of a national and global economic recovery.
Payson continues: “Our early-stage customer initiatives with enterprises, funds, and local governments are all good examples of how corporate America can step up and offer a lifeline to the local businesses and suppliers that power our communities and nation. This is what we’re committed to developing with this new capital injection.”
Crowdz’ growth is driven by the high demand for working capital from SMBs, as well as by investors seeking yield. Allowing investors to create a revenue stream, support SMBs, and promote post-pandemic growth is something Crowdz is proud to facilitate.
The need is clear
A recent Fed study found 95 percent of U.S. SMBs were impacted by the pandemic, with 65 percent voicing concern over their ability to pay operating expenses. From those who applied for conventional financing, minority-owned businesses were the least likely to receive the financing they were after.
On top of this, 50 percent of SMBs are operating with fewer than 15 days in buffer cash, highlighting how otherwise-solvent small businesses can suddenly face bankruptcy and closure. Contemporary financial parity has never mattered more.
Payson adds: “Through initiatives such as our Reclaim the Future project, we’ve created a new financing solution for business owners. Our ability to focus on equitable financing opportunities, particularly for diverse and minority-owned businesses is where we can keep making a difference. We have always believed there is another way. Our incredible investors and partners believe so too.”
What we plan to do next
Introducing SuRF score: a fair solution for financial risk assessment
Developing the Crowdz product pipeline is crucial to our goal and, bolstered by this capital raise, the rollout of our much-anticipated product SuRF score (Sustainability, Risk, and Financial) is now in production. A revolution that needed to happen, SuRF provides a more accurate and equitable risk assessment model than standard credit scores and measures the overall health of a company in real-time.
The SuRF score is an organic and metric-based risk assessment model — comprising a variety of inputs including financial heath, receivable validity, cash flow, supply chain risk, sustainability, and more.
What does this mean for Crowdz customers?
In real terms, it’s our most exciting update yet. It effectively opens up liquidity options for hundreds of small businesses previously excluded from financial opportunities due to outdated risk assessment models. In doing this, we add an additional revenue stream to our business, all while supporting those who need it most.
Payson is, of course, SuRF’s most enthusiastic advocate, he says: “We’re scoring companies in real-time that have never had the option to be scored before. That alone is changing things for businesses right now. Once we reach critical mass, Crowdz could effectively provide the market with a litmus test for the health of the SMB economy.
“Our wider plan is to white-label this functionality as Supply Chain Finance as a Service (SCFaaS), meaning institutions that have yet to enter the supply chain finance playing field can hit the ground running, providing access to equitable, risk-assessed finance without the need for technical development and infrastructure. This is the hall-pass for banks, factoring companies, and traditional financiers to actively participate in the SMB recovery that Crowdz is championing.”
This most recent round of significant investment means the goals and opportunities we have set for ourselves, and the people we serve, are closer than ever.
Crowdz is growing, so others can too. If you’d like to be part of the SMB solution revolution, join us.