Payments Firm Circle Pauses Circle Research in Most Recent Cutback

On Sept. 24, the Circle team announced in a blog post that it had decided to pause its Circle Research branch, despite having made “significant progress” with its content offerings.

Crypto finance startup Circle announced that it is hitting the pause button on its Circle Research activities.

Deciding on a future direction for the program

The team of the Goldman Sachs-backed crypto startup Circle explained:

“It’s time to evaluate our contribution and overall strategy. With that in mind, we’ve decided to pause Circle Research activity for the time being as we decide on a future direction for the program.”

Circle Research was launched on Oct. 9, 2018, with the intent to provide weekly cryptocurrency market research and insights to help traders make better-informed decisions.

The news follows the previously announced termination of Circle’s payment app Circle Pay for which it will fully close support on Sep. 30.

Circle sheds 10% of workforce

Cointelegraph reported in May that Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire had confirmed that executives had made the decision to release roughly one in ten of Circle’s employees. The CEO put the blame with the U.S. regulatory climate for the layoff of 30 staff, saying:

“We made these changes in response to new market conditions, most importantly, an increasingly restrictive regulatory climate in the United States.”

Paystand Raises $20M to Be Blockchain-Based ‘Venmo’ for Commercial Payments

Paystand, a platform using blockchain technology to automate commercial payments, has raised $20 million in Series B funding.

Backing the round are a number of VC firms including DNX Ventures, Battery Ventures, Epic Ventures, Commerce Ventures and Wildcat Ventures. Existing investors Leap Global Partners and BlueRun Ventures also took part.

Paystand aims to makes complex commercial transactions and payments “as easy and fast for enterprises as Venmo has done for basic consumer-to-consumer transactions,” according to a press release on Thursday.

The firm’s service is based on a blockchain network that it says provides “real-time, fund-verified” payments, allowing businesses to move money around instantly. Paystand says it digitizes and automates the payment lifecycle, from invoice to reconciliation, by integrating with client businesses’ databases.

“We made a promise to reboot commercial finance because it’s insecure, inefficient and built on trustless networks and technology,” Paystand CEO Jeremy Almond said in the announcement. “Today marks another step towards realizing that vision and transforming enterprise finance.”

The company said the fresh investment would allow it to speed expansion of its services, and build out the sales, marketing and engineering teams at its California and Guadalajara, Mexico, offices.

Speaking of why his firm joined the $20 million fundraise, Mitch Kitamura, managing director of DNX Ventures, said in a blog post: “Consumers have seemingly endless payment options, many of which offer near-instant payments with little to no fees. … Businesses lack the same options.”

Paystand’s “Venmo-like” B2B payment service, he continued, could “save businesses, on average, more than 50% of the cost of realizing receivables and reduce days sales outstanding by more than 60%.”

DNX will assist Paystand in its expansion in Japan, Kitamura said – a market that is inefficient by way of being largely cash-based and could benefit in both time and cost savings from Paystand’s payments automation.

Last year, Paystand inked a deal with Japanese payment network JCB to build an end-to-end digital payment platform for businesses and their customers in Japan, according to TechRepublic.

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