Polish blockchain startup Billon has received a €2 million grant from Horizon 2020, the European Union’s largest Research and Innovation program.
The company said that it was awarded the grant on the basis that its distributed ledger technology (DLT) can exploit the alternative payment market, a market expected to reach US$1.4 trillion in 2020, according to a WorldPay 2016 report.
“Billon’s blockchain technology is the first cloud and mobile peer-to-peer solution for everyday currencies using DLT, where we provide PLN and GBP solutions in partnership with banks. Billon now moves beyond solutions to digitally pay people, to now enable participants to spend their funds online,” said Robert Kaluza, co-founder and COO of Billon.
The granted funding will be used to expand the startup’s blockchain technology beyond instant corporate payments, support the launch of e-commerce and content monetization solutions, and provide additional investment in sales, marketing, compliance and operation.
“We believe content monetization and e-commerce payments will be one of the main drivers behind the global demand for micropayments, especially in emerging markets,” said Tadeusz Kuropatwinski, managing director of digital payments at Billon. “Today’s payment solutions include clumsy pre-paid vouchers and premium SMS, and Billon can transform this into a digital payment experience on a mobile phone, and with a full audit trail.”
Based on the company’s successful trials, Kuropatwinski said he expects to launch merchant services for e-commerce and content monetization this autumn in Poland and in 2018 in the UK. The company will then start looking for possible entries into emerging markets.
Billon has created an instant payments system that leverages blockchain technology. The solution supports all national currencies, complies with financial regulations and eliminates barriers of time and distance.
The company also cooperates with partner companies to implements its technology as part of their IT solutions.
Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation program that ever existed with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020). It focuses on breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts, and aims to “take great ideas from the lab to the market.”