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Pollenware raises $9.1 million round led by Union Square Ventures

Pollenware (C2FO), a Mission Woods, Kan. company that calls itself the “global market for working capital,” on Wednesday announced it has raised a $9.1 million round of funding led by Union Square Ventures of New York.

“This investment from one of the most well-respected venture capital firms in the world will allow us to expand and enhance the first working capital and risk-free profit market of its kind for millions of companies,” Alexander “Sandy” Kemper (below), the founder and CEO of Pollenware, said in a release.

Pollenware has created a web-based marketplace where a company and its suppliers can gather for live “collaborative cash flow optimization” (C2FO) events. During these events, a company’s suppliers offer percentage discounts on shipments of product in exchange for early payment on those shipments. 

Throughout the events, Pollenware’s system provides instant metrics on how certain actions would affect a company’s bottom line and allows both sides of the bidding process to adjust their offers in real-time. 

For suppliers, it’s designed to speed up the collection of accounts receivable. For buyers, it aims to provide a better return than other investments — think commercial paper, treasuries and money market accounts — on any excess short-term cash. 

Pollenware’s headquarters are nestled just across State Line Road from the heart of Kansas City, Mo., and the company has satellite offices in Omaha, Boston and Seattle. Founded in 2008, Pollenware has largely flown under SPN’s radar screen until now. Obviously, that isn’t the case at USV.

“This is a great fit for us,” USV’s John Buttrick said in a release. “We invest in large networks of engaged users and we admire the marketplace that the (C2FO) team has developed over the past few years. We see (C2FO) as a highly disruptive solution that enables buyers and sellers to directly solve their financing needs without resorting to intermediaries.”

This marks USV’s second investment in a Silicon Prairie company inside of eight months, following on the heels of the firm’s February investment in Des Moines-based payments startup Dwolla.

Fred Wilson, the managing partner at USV, reflected on the uptick in Midwestern activity — and shared some other interesting insights — in a blog post published today.

“We are finding lots of interesting networks and marketplaces all around the country and all around the world,” Wilson said. “The opportunities are certainly not limited to the Bay Area, Boston, and NYC these days.”

 For more on Pollenware (from the perspective of the buyer), see the explainer video below. 


Credits: Photo of Kemper from prweb.com. Video from Patty Iorio on Vimeo.

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