Citi backs Crowdz for SME financing

SME finance platform Crowdz has secured $10m in investment, led by Citi and Global Cleantech Capital, to expand its ability to bring accessible working capital to small businesses.

The round also saw participation from Bold Capital Partners, TFX Capital, and Augment Ventures.

Citi’s investment was led by the Spread Products Investment Technologies (SPRINT) team, the strategic investing arm of the bank’s industry-leading Global Spread Products division. Existing investor Global Cleantech Capital, a Netherlands-based growth venture capital firm, joined Citi in leading the round.

Crowdz said its 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.

Crowdz and Citi said they plan to collaborate to give small and medium enterprises (SMEs) rapid and efficient access to the working capital needed to keep their businesses running. Citi has a longstanding commitment to expanding access to capital and inclusive financial services. Through its $200m Impact Fund, Citi deploys its own capital to make equity investments in “double bottom line” US-based private sector companies that are applying innovative solutions to help address some of society’s most pressing challenges.

Payson E. Johnston, CEO and co-founder of Crowdz, said, “Crowdz’s planned 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 having the potential to become 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.”

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