Align Commerce, a global payments provider, has secured a major investment led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers that will help position the company to continue overhauling the outdated international payments industry.

With the new $12.5 million Series A funding round under its belt, Align Commerce announced yesterday (Nov. 17) that the company is equipped to accelerate its efforts to continue disrupting the payments industry — particularly how money moves around the world. Align Commerce's mission is to break free from what it calls time-consuming, burdensome methods of sending funds by empowering SMBs in their cross-border payment efforts.

Through using solutions like its electronic “multi-rail” payments platform, it mixes blockchain — an encrypted, data-driven rail  — with traditional bank wire and treasury management rails.

“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.”

In Align Commerce's case, the blockchain is used to send secure payments across borders without needing to use intermediary banks. It also eliminates the fees associated with traditional banking. This enables SMBs to manage their payment processing in a way that may better fit their business models.

Align Commerce's goal is to cut costs, reduce processing times and make the SMB payments experience seamless. And with its new funding, it's going to be able to expand its vision.

“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.”

Besides 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.

“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,” KPCB general partner Randy Komisar said. “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.”

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