After introducing itself to the market earlier this year, U.K. FinTech startup Populous has officially launched.
News reports on Wednesday (Aug. 9) said Populous has raised more than $10 million and is now piloting its platform, which uses blockchain technology for invoice financing.
“We’ve been getting a lot of interest from other invoice factoring firms and financial firms that are not on the blockchain wanting to join the project, including banks as well,” said Populous CEO Stephen Williams in an interview with Global Trade Review.
Populous uses the cryptocurrency Ethereum to facilitate the sale of invoices on its online platform. The FinTech startup developed its own virtual currency tokens, Pokens, pegged with fiat currencies. Populous also uses smart contracts to enable businesses to get their unpaid invoices financed.
“With the smart contract, we have created our own tokens, our own currency in a sense, which the contracts accept,” Williams explained to the publication. “For example, a guy from India wants to finance an invoice from Sweden, so he would place his money into the platform, and it will get converted into kroner Pokens via the smart contract.”
Investors on the platform have 24 hours to bid on invoices uploaded to the site, and their cryptocurrency tokens are held in a smart contract until the end of the auction.
“If you think about the complexity around different currencies and settlements and consolidation of payments, it’s a much more efficient strategy to use tokens, and it opens up the market to the rest of the world,” added Williams.
Populous made its first entrance onto the market in February, when it said it planned a launch in the coming months. At the time, Williams spoke with PYMNTS about the potential for blockchain to disrupt the financial services space.
“I agree that big banks are a long way off adopting the technology,” he said at the time. “There’s been a lot of hype and misunderstanding about what blockchain is and where its use case exists.”
But, he continued, for Populous’ purpose, blockchain technology, utilized through the virtual currency Ethereum, is “mature enough” to benefit its invoice finance solution.