The blockchain-based startup Clear has raised $13 million in funding from Fidelity.
This confirms the US financial giant’s deep interest in the crypto world, in spite of the apparent gap between the world’s fourth-largest mutual and pension fund manager and the cryptocurrency revolution.
The investment was made through the Fidelity venture capital Eight Roads and has also seen the participation of some large telecommunications companies.
Clear is an Israeli-based blockchain startup that provides settlement and clearing networks for companies and has raised $13 million in new funds through a round of Series A financing.
The solution offered to the market by Clear is a shared blockchain-based platform that enables telecommunications companies to collaborate and settle payments automatically.
Its protocol uses cryptographic solutions, such as zero-knowledge proofs, to execute B2B smart contracts, while allowing companies full control over their data.
With this financing, the company aims to grow its team and expand into other sectors besides telecommunications, such as financial services and healthcare.
In addition to Eight Roads, which led the financing round, Telefónica Innovation Ventures, Telekom Innovation Pool of Deutsche Telekom, HKT and Singtel Innov8 also participated in the investment.
Some of these companies had previously taken part in a pilot test of Clear, and after the success of these tests, they decided to invest millions of dollars in this startup.
Thanks to the cryptographic solutions integrated on its platform, it is possible for companies to benefit from automated payment settlements and maintain full control over their data, making Clear’s offer very competitive for the settlement and clearing market, hence Fidelity’s interest is perfectly understandable.
Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier’s head of roaming development and innovation, Federico Homberg, explained:
“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”.
However, the telecom market is not the only one that can benefit from these new technologies, since many other industries have similar problems that can be solved with smart contracts and distributed ledgers.
In addition, Telefónica’s Chief Innovation Officer, Guenia Gawendo, added that the use of DLT adds a level of confidence to this type of operations, making it possible to significantly reduce friction in settlement processes between carriers and operators, starting with international voice services, but with the possibility of extending it to other services as well.
The interest of big finance in these new technologies is therefore not limited to the purely speculative aspects of cryptocurrency prices, but also to fundamental, structural innovation, which can be implemented within the traditional financial world thanks to technological solutions that, until now, had simply never been possible to develop.