SME finance platform Crowdz has secured US$10mn in funding from a Citi-led group of investors, as part of plans to finance its expansion.

The US$10mn round was led by Citi and existing Crowdz investor Global Cleantech Capital. Bold Capital Partners, TFX Capital and Augment Ventures, other existing investors in the platform, also participated.

The Silicon Valley startup launched in 2014 with a digital marketplace product that connects buyers and sellers of a variety of products. In 2019, it landed US$5.5mn in a series A funding round led by Barclays, which went towards product development, marketing and sales and hiring new staff. Crowdz connected with Barclays in 2018 as part of the Barclays Accelerator programme, which is where its invoice financing solution was first developed.

Through its investment, Citi joins a growing list of corporate entities that are partnering with Crowdz, including Meta – which uses the company’s tech alongside that of Detroit-based Supplier Success in its Invoice Fast Track programme. Additionally, Crowdz says that a number of clients utilise a white-labelled iteration of its platform to provide access to working capital for SMEs, including EG Funds, an Australian fund manager, which is currently setting up a platform in Asia Pacific.

“While we have been extremely impressed with Crowdz’s traction in the traditional invoice receivables financing space, we are particularly excited about the burgeoning asset class of software-as-a-service (SaaS) receivables,” says Katya Chupryna, head of Citi’s strategic investing arm, Spread Products Investment Technologies. “Only a small fraction of the US$170bn in yearly SaaS revenues are currently represented in financial products, indicating a massive opportunity for expansion.”

Citi says it now plans to collaborate with Crowdz to grow recurring revenue finance as an asset class, with a particular focus on SaaS businesses. For its part, Crowdz says it will use the new investment to meet its target of providing 25,000 SMEs with over US$1bn in working capital in 2023.