Billon, the technology company that has civilised blockchain, has been granted EUR 1 million funding from the National Center for Research and Development (NCBiR) as part of its Intelligent Development program. This latest installment marks the third funding endorsement from the EU organisation. Billon will use the funding for large scale research and further development of its permissioned blockchain.
Billon’s technology platform enables variety of uses, including coding national currencies. Billon was the first company granted e-money licence for blockchain based system processing British Pounds. Enterprises across Poland and Great Britain are already using its business ready blockchain solutions to transfer e-money, the digital equivalent of cash as qualified by EU PSD2 directive. Importantly, the flow of e-money is not dependent on bank accounts which opens the global financial system to the unbanked.
“The introduction of the PSD2 directive has significant benefits for those previously excluded from financial systems. Amongst other things, it enables them to accept remuneration in a digital form for temporary or irregular work, without the need for a bank account or credit card, which can be costly,” explains Robert Kałuża, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Billon. “Our solution, which has been backed by NCBiR, provides a secure, instant and user friendly method of payment for all consumers.”
Billon’s payments technology has transformed incentive systems used by large corporations such as Phillip Morris. Legacy motivational systems are characterized by high operating costs and long payout periods. Blockchain provides low entry barriers and trigger-based payments. Digital incentives on blockchain paid out immediately after completing a specified trigger increase motivation for sales force, logistics agents and others that have limited physical contact with the employer. Philip Morris uses Billon’s technology to pay incentive rewards to its trading partners while Coca-Cola in Poland has tested the solution as part of a program that rewards direct-to-consumer distributors for high sales levels. The incentive payout opportunity extends beyond the retail sector and Billon is already exploring the opportunity to deploy the technology in the insurance industry.
This endorsement is the third piece of funding that Billon has received from NCBiR. In November, the company was awarded just over EUR 1 million, to aid the development of its blockchain technology. Prior to this, Billon was also awarded EUR 2 million from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program, which recognised Billon’s potential to transform direct payments. The company recently received $75,000 from the 2018 VC FinTech Accelerator program, sponsored by FIS - a world leader in payment processing, financial software and banking solutions.
“Grants and co-financing from institutions such as NCBiR are crucial in the development of innovative technology companies. It’s this funding that enables smaller players to disrupt and compete with large market players,” said Kałuża. “Blockchain is the perfect example of an innovation where the invested funds pay back quickly, because we show how it improves and it is embedded into day to day activities.”
Grants and co-financing from institutions such as NCBiR are crucial in the development of innovative technology companies.Robert Kałuża, Billon's co-founder and COO
Momentum for Billon’s technology has been continuing to build in recent months. The company partnered with the Polish Credit Information Bureau on one of the largest deployments of blockchain technology in Poland, for the purpose of storing and sending sensitive customer data. The deployment has the potential to be replicated across any industry that requires document to be stored and sent on a durable medium of information. Mitsui Knowledge Industry is also exploring the use of Billon’s blockchain for storing documents and could become the primary distributor of Billon’s technology in Asian markets.