Crowdz Partners with GoCardless to Bring Open Banking to Small Business Financing
  • SME financing platform Crowdz has teamed up with London-based GoCardless.
  • The partnership will enable Crowdz to leverage open banking to enhance its ability to provide small businesses with working capital.
  • Headquartered in Campbell, California, and founded in 2015, Crowdz made its Finovate debut at FinovateEurope 2020 in Berlin.

Small business financing platform Crowdz has partnered with direct bank payments company GoCardless. The collaboration will enable the California-based fintech, which made its Finovate debut at FinovateEurope in Berlin in 2020, to leverage open banking to bring better financing options to SMEs.

“We’re proud to have provided over $80 million in working capital to SMEs, but this is just the start,” Crowdz CEO and co-founder Payson E. Johnston said. “With our global expansion plans and our target of providing 25,000 SMEs with over $1 billion in working capital by the end of 2023, we needed a partner that could offer the right coverage, technology, and expertise. That’s where GoCardless comes in.”

The partnership will bring three of GoCardless’ payment features to Crowdz’s Avalon Marketplace to enhance both its payment and risk modeling capability. These features are Instant Bank Pay, which enables the collection of instant, one-off payments directly from bank accounts; Verified Mandates, which provide enhanced fraud protections; and GoCardless’ PayTo integration, which supports instant payments and account verification. Both Instant Bank Pay and Verified Mandates will be available in the U.K., the U.S., and Europe. GoCardless’ PayTo integration will be available in Australia.

“We’re excited to see our open banking features powering a true disruptor like Crowdz,” GoCardless Chief Product Officer and Chief Growth Officer Duncan Barrigan said. “Thanks to our global bank payment network, we’ll be able to accelerate their speed-to-market and offer cutting-edge payment solutions, making it that much easier for SMEs to gain access to working capital all over the world.”

Crowdz made its Finovate debut in Berlin at FinovateEurope 2020. At the conference, the company demoed its end-to-end invoice solution helps turn unpaid receivables into cash. Crowdz’s technology leverages the blockchain to provide a platform of invoices for sellers, buyers, and funders, a global receivables marketplace that gives small businesses access to alternative financing that accelerates their cash flow. Crowdz uses a proprietary risk assessment model, the SuRF score, which it says helps provide more equitable funding compared to financing based on traditional credit scores.

As of March, Crowdz had funded $50 million in receivables. The company began the year partnering with Angels Den to launch the organization’s financing program that helps small businesses in the U.K. secure working capital. Crowdz also teamed up with Meta last fall (formerly known as Facebook) to help the company launch its SME financing program.

Crowdz has raised more than $25 million in funding from investors including Citi, Barclays Corporate Banking, Bold Capital Partners, Global Cleantech Capital, and EG Funds Management.

Photo by India Owens