Fidelity Leads $13M Funding Round for Israeli Blockchain Startup Clear

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Israeli blockchain startup Clear has raised $13 million in a Series A round led by Fidelity-backed Eight Roads.

Clear — which develops blockchain networks for high-volume transaction systems between businesses — announced the round’s completion in a statement via TechCrunch on Feb. 5.

Eight Roads is a global venture firm that originates in Fidelity’s first investment business, Fidelity Ventures. 

Other participants in the Series A for Clear were the venture funds of several global telecoms leaders: Spain’s Telefónica Innovation Ventures, the Telekom Innovation Pool of Germany’s Deutsche Telekom, Hong Kong telco HKT and Singapore’s Singtel Innov8. 

Telecoms is Clear’s first sectoral focus in its development of a blockchain and smart contract-driven transaction network designed for cross-border business to business (B2B) payments. 

Co-founder Gal Hochberg said that smart contracts in particular are a powerful tool to deal with high-volume, international transactions, as they:

“Create a trusted view of the true status of the relationship within the company’s business partners […] they can find any issues in real time, either in commercial information or in service delivery, and they can even actually resolve those inside our platform.” 

Use of the blockchain ensures that all these B2B transactions are auditable and secured by cryptography, with data consistent and in-sync for all parties involved.

Hochberg has claimed that the network is ostensibly capable of processing “hundreds of millions of billable events,” based on internal testing.

Clear anticipates entering full carrier-grade production in H1 2020, with the aim of expanding beyond telcos with the help of yesterday’s Series A.

Blockchain gains traction in global telecoms

Last month, Telefónica partnered with the local Association of Science and Technology Parks to grant access to its Hyperledger-based blockchain to about 8,000 firms in Spain.

In September 2019, Union Mobile, South Korea’s fourth-largest mobile carrier, announced the launch of its blockchain project ELYNET. 

Within the blockchain development space, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance published an overview of use cases for blockchain in telecommunications in August 2019.