Blockchain Company Align Commerce Closes $12.5 Million Series A Round Led by KPCB

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Blockchain payments startup Align Commerce, a next-generation global payments provider, has just announced that it has closed a $12.5 million Series A round of funding led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB).

The investment positions Align Commerce to accelerate the disruption of the outdated, $25 trillion international payments industry.

“This Series A round of funding from KPCB allows us to expand our solution into more markets, and bigger geographical coverage.”

Align Commerce (Align) says they are breaking away from the opaque, expensive and time-consuming methods of sending funds overseas with banks and traditional payment providers by leveling the playing field for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in cross-border payments. Align added they have pioneered an electronic “multi-rail” payments platform that combines blockchain, an encrypted, data-driven rail, with traditional bank wire and treasury management rails.

Blockchain is a new electronic rail for secure payments that simplifies the process of sending and receiving money across borders, routing it from Point A to Point B without having to use intermediary banks – or pay the fees associated with them. Align’s multi-rail platform lets small businesses, which historically have paid the highest fees for bank transfers, take back control of the payment process by routing transfers quickly, safely and simply on the rail that offers the greatest benefit to their business.

“For far too long the cost and complications of existing payment systems have hindered startups and SMBs from fully capitalizing on global trade,” said Marwan Forzley, CEO of Align Commerce. “The Align Commerce platform cuts through time-consuming red tape and excessive fees that have unnecessarily burdened users. Existing systems have seen little innovation in the face of game-changing new technologies, and the entire experience is overdue for a radically different approach.”

By giving businesses access to its proprietary multi-rail platform, Align reduces costs, cuts payment processing times and enhances the payment experience for the SMB community.

“Every year, banks charge small businesses $50 billion in wire and foreign exchange fees. Imagine a highly simplified experience in which proceeds from the savings in fees are injected back into the economy, thus contributing to additional employment, business spending and other avenues,” Forzley said. “This Series A round of funding from KPCB allows us to expand our solution into more markets, and bigger geographical coverage.”

KPCB general partner Randy Komisar will join Align Commerce’s Board of Directors, bringing a range of technology experience to Align’s leadership. A founding director of TiVo and former senior counsel for Apple, Komisar is well-known in Silicon Valley as an expert on entrepreneurship and managing innovation.

“The Align Commerce platform is not only a creative and transformative use of the blockchain technology, but a fundamental reimagining of how global payments can and should be done,” said Komisar. “By offering a quick, reliable, and inexpensive method of exchanging money across borders, Align Commerce is empowering entrepreneurs and SMBs to expand into global markets without the friction of bank wire systems. We see incredible potential in Align Commerce as a superior digital path to convenient, transparent cross-border transactions.”

In addition to KPCB, SVB Ventures, Recruit Venture Partners and existing Align Commerce investors participated in the round, including Pantera Capital, Digital Currency Group and FS Venture Capital LLC.

For more on the Align Commerce Payments Platform and how Align Commerce is enabling faster, simpler and less expensive overseas payments for small businesses, visit AlignCommerce.com. To sign up, visit  https://www.aligncommerce.com/dashboard/register.

About Richard Kastelein

Founder of industry publication Blockchain News, partner at ICO services collective CryptoAsset Design Group (helped raise over $200m+), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) and ICO event organiser at leading industry event  CryptoFinancing (first ICO event in Europe) – Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of half a dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1200 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat.
 
Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London, Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, San Mateo, Shanghai,Tel Aviv and Venice. His network is global and extensive.
 
He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He’s written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French.
 
A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein’s professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he’s travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world.
 
In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Seas’ travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he’s raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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