Align Commerce, a startup looking to leverage Bitcoin’s blockchain for cross-border payments, has raised $12.5 million in Series A funding.
The round was led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), and joined by Digital Currency Group, FS Venture Capital, Pantera Capital, Recruit Ventures Partners and SVB Ventures.
Align Commerce’s solution aims to bring down the cost and time involved in international payments, one of the hottest FinTech endeavors these days. One of Align Commerce’s promoted use cases is to allow small and medium businesses to receive payments in their local currency from customers abroad.
Founder and CEO Marwan Forzley, who used to be a general manager at Western Union, previously told Finance Magnates in an interview, “Payments on a domestic level are relatively efficient. The friction occurs when you use different currencies and FX costs get involved.”
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Bitcoin’s blockchain and other distributed ledger systems are considered among the most promising tools to revolutionize international payments.
According to a press release, Align Commerce’s payment platform is “multi-rail” in combining the blockchain with traditional bank wire methods.
KPCB general partner Randy Komisar will join Align Commerce’s Board of Directors.
The funding is the largest in the industry since Chain’s $30 million round announced in September. Venture investment in crypto-related startups has recently been in decline, with only $11.7 million invested in October and $14.4 million thus far in November. Investment has been noticeably shifting from bitcoin-as-a-currency to blockchain-related ventures.