Blockchain Fueled Financial Operating Network Fluent Closes $1.65MM Seed Round

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Fluent, the financial operating network for global commerce built on Blockchain technology, has just released it has raised $1.65 million in a series seed funding round led by ff Venture Capital and joined by Digital Currency Group, Crosscut Ventures, Draper Associates, Fenbushi Capital, Lindbergh Tech Fund, and the St. Louis Arch Angels. The seed funding round brings Fluent’s total capital raised to $2.5MM following a November 2015 pre-seed financing led by Draper Associates with participation from Thomson Reuters, UMB Bank, 500 Startups, SixThirty, and others.

Fluent has also announced their relationship with, Commerce Bancshares (NASDAQ: CBSH), a Forbes Top-20 US Bank headquartered in Kansas City, MO, who has been participating in the Fluent Network pilot program since February 2016.

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The Fluent Network powers applications built for global trade and the financial supply chain. The Blockchain-based platform reduces risk and enables new, transformative types of enterprise financial applications including real-time B2B payments, supply chain finance, and a peer-to-peer working capital marketplace.

“Fluent is offering a robust solution—backed by an exceptional team—to help businesses better manage credit in their supply chain,” said John Frankel, Partner, ff Venture Capital. “Fluent is harnessing the underlying technology in cryptocurrency to enable pain-free supply chain financing. This is a space we have been interested in for some time and excited to see such a talented team take a novel approach to reducing friction in global supply chain commerce.”

Other investors include Draper Associates, Crosscut Ventures, Digital Currency Group, and Fenbushi Capital. This group of investors shows a commitment to Blockchain innovation and will provide Fluent with the network and insights it needs to continue to grow.

“We are excited to see Fluent adopting the core technology underlying the bitcoin Blockchain to build a financial network that enables real-time, peer-to-peer financial transactions within a trusted network of stakeholders in a value chain,” said Barry Silbert, Founder, CEO of Digital Currency Group. “Their solution makes supply chain finance impressively simple and intuitive for banks and companies alike.”

Fluent will apply its series seed funding to grow the engineering team, bolster business development and expand its sales force to provide banking partners and non-bank lenders alike—such as alternative finance providers, asset-based lenders, and hedge funds—a seamless platform for lending into global supply chains.

“We’re leveraging distributed ledger technology to drastically reduce risk, streamline and automate settlement, and connect previously siloed solutions in trade and the financial supply chain,” said Lamar Wilson, CEO of Fluent. “Building on and connecting parties on one frictionless financial fabric enables us to build solutions never before possible on antiquated, disconnected settlement rails.”

The announcement of Fluent’s series seed financing round and banking partner emerge after the company spent nearly a year in stealth mode, building the platform and working with enterprises to further understand the challenges and opportunities they face in their financial operations. As Fluent continues to grow and serve its partners, it aims to become the first supply chain solution for large enterprises to go live in the Blockchain space.

“With this seed financing round, we’ll continue to execute on our vision of rewiring the world’s financial circuits to power long overdue improvements in trade finance and global commerce at-large,” said Lamar Wilson, CEO of Fluent. “We look forward to working with additional banking and corporate partners to help create a new paradigm in trade and supply chain finance.”

About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

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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