SINGTEL Innov8, the venture capital arm of Singtel, has participated in the US$13 million Series A funding round for blockchain-based startup Clear, which builds business-to-business networks for contract management, settlements and payments.
Leading the round was the fintech strategic investments group at Eight Roads, the priorietary investment firm backed by fund management giant Fidelity International, Clear announced on Friday.
The other participating investors were also telcos - Germany's Deutsche Telekom via its investment vehicle, Telekom Innovation Pool; Spain's Telefónica via its corporate venture vehicle, Telefónica Innovation Ventures; as well as Hong Kong's HKT.
Clear's blockchain-based platform helps companies automate smart contracts and manage data within networks with multiple partners. The platform's shared environment also provides automatic payments and clearing, which reduces transaction fees and long payment cycles as well as prevents fraud.
Clear said that the latest capital raised will be used to scale its operations, grow its team and enhance the adoption of its platform in the telecommunications space.
The company has conducted several trials of its platform with telcos such as BT Group, Colt, Deutsche Telekom, PCCW Global, Telefónica, Telstra, Tata Telecommunications and Orange.
Singtel Innov8 focuses its investments on technologies and solutions to support Singtel group's strategy. Headquartered in Singapore, Singtel Innov8 also has offices in Tel Aviv, San Francisco, and Beijing.
Aside from the telecommunications space, Clear said it is also looking into implementing its technology in other industries such as financial services, media, advertising, energy and healthcare.