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Telefónica, Deutsche Telekom invest in blockchain firm Clear’s $13m Series A

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Settlement and clearing blockchain firm Clear secured $13 million in a Series A round to build a high-volume transaction system for payments between telcos, reported TechCrunch

The funding round was led by Eight Roads (Fidelity) along with Telefónica Innovation Ventures, Telekom Innovation Pool of Deutsche Telekom, HKT and Singtel Innov8.

In a statement, Clear commented on the funding: “This new capital will help us to scale operations, grow our team, enhance adoption in the telecom space and look into new implementations in new markets.”

Founded in 2018, Clear Blockchain Technologies is leveraging distributed ledger technology (DLT) and smart contracts to enable real-time settlement and dispute resolution. Clear markets itself as blockchain agnostic, allowing smooth migration to other protocols while maintaining the technology stack. The solution is currently focused on the telecommunications industry and aims to reduce costs, inefficiencies and fraud in multi-party transactions. 

For mobile users, roaming is extremely convenient, but it creates a headache for telecoms companies with inter-carrier payments. Reconciling amounts owed between partners invariably involves some manual intervention.

This legacy system is prone to errors and increases the chances of disputes between telcos. Clear says its blockchain platform automates this process and provides a transparent and auditable record of data such as roaming minutes and on-demand services, among other things. 

“What that (blockchain smart contracts) lets us do is create a trusted view of the true status of the relationship within the company’s business partners because they’re now looking at the same pricing and usage,” said Gal Hochberg, co-founder and CEO of Clear. “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.”

The Singapore-registered and Israeli staffed company has carried out two proof of concepts (PoC) with PCCW Global and Colt. Ledger Insights previously reported on a PoC by CBCCom, PCCW, Sparkle and Tata Communications in collaboration with Clear and Cataworx. It ran another PoC with some of the same firms for on-demand services

A few months ago, Clear released details of several trials it conducted with Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica and Vodafone. 

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