The Fluent Network, which enables ‘real-time, low-cost, simple and secure invoicing and payments’ along global supply chains via blockchain technology for banks, financial institutions, and global enterprises aims at providing a frictionless operating network for large enterprises and their global supply chains.
The startup was founded in 2014 and in November 2015, it closed its pre-seed financing round, raising a total of USD 875,000 with participation from institutional investors including Draper Associates, Thomson Reuters, 500 Startups, UMB Bank, and SixThirty.
Bravenewcoin.com reports that the Fluent Network is currently in a pilot program with an undisclosed Top-10 bank on Forbes’ 2015 America’s Best Bank list. The program is establishing connectivity, “with the goal of going live upon completion." The platform is also being demoed to other large financial institutions and Fortune 5000 companies in the US and abroad.
The way it works is that on the Fluent Network, payments are linked to tokenized invoices. Once the buyer approves the invoice, the goods are considered satisfactory. The invoice is tokenized on the Network, preventing it from being refinanced again. The buyer then pays the invoice directly to the financier. The supplier never holds the funds, therefore, it eliminates the risk of non-payment.
The system uses a custom-built, federated blockchain, where the nodes are hosted both with big buyers and the financial institutions on the network. “Everything is denominated in USD and backed 1:1 so there is no volatility,” the company revealed. Interestingly, they also added that “It is not connected in any way to the bitcoin blockchain.”
In addition to the platform, Fluent has developed a suite of applications and solutions: the Global Payment Platform allows companies to send and receive payments in real-time, both intercompany and with their suppliers worldwide; the Supply Chain Financing Platform allows suppliers to participate in one-touch receivables financing while the Receivables Marketplace allows receivables to be sent to “a multi-lender marketplace where they can receive superior rates to traditional supply chain financing programs”.
The Supply Chain Management suite, on the other hand, contains tools such as e-invoicing, a cloud-based supplier portal, and also buyer/supplier collaboration gizmo. In addition, the company provides APIs, and the Developer Platform allows developers to use their SDK and API for custom solutions on the Fluent Network.
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