Earlier this year Lincoln-based Crescent, a fintech company founded in 2017, launched a new automated cash management platform to help businesses put idle capital to work earning a profit.
“[Because of] the changing environment with interest rates, there’s a big opportunity for us to provide a lot of value to businesses to put their cash to work as another source of revenue for them,” said founder and CEO Grant Roscoe.
Earning Profits on Idle Capital
Companies that have idle cash are most likely to benefit from Crescent’s services. Based on the company’s research, midmarket firms — those with between 100 and 1,000 employees — present the greatest opportunity. They have the cash resources and finance teams that recognize the value of cash management, but because they are focused on the day-to-day operations of their companies, they don’t yet deploy cash effectively.
The platform is compatible with its clients’ bank and accounting software. A client plugs into Crescent one time, and the software is set to automatically earn the client the best returns for its cash in a safe and compliant way.
Crescent’s job is to source the highest quality yields across every asset class from Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. insured bank accounts to new emerging markets like digital assets. It makes them all accessible through one dashboard. This saves the business owners time and maximizes earnings.
“Our integrations allow you to set up how much cash you need to keep on hand in your current bank, and all the rest will be automatically put to work earning you that highest quality yield on that cash,” Roscoe said. “You can go live in minutes.”
Roscoe was a foreign exchange trader when he got into cryptocurrencies full time in 2017. He subsequently founded Crescent.
“A lot of friends and family came to me wanting exposure to investing in crypto, so I was their point of entry,” he said. “I didn’t want to become a fund manager per se, so I started Crescent with the initial goal of being the simplest way to invest in crypto for a beginner. It was a mobile application you would download on your phone and easily be able to buy a basket of cryptocurrencies so you wouldn’t have to pick and choose which ones to own over time.”
An Experienced Team
Crescent has 15 employees, including nine full-time software engineers.
“Trust and compliance are two of the top services that we sell, so for credibility, it’s definitely helpful to know who’s behind [this company],” Roscoe said.
Its chief technology officer previously led a large team within Nubank out of Latin America, one of the largest digital banks in the world with over 60 million customers. Other employees came from NASA, Bridgewater, and other Fortune 100 companies.
To promote Crescent’s new business direction, the company is leaning heavily on connections it has made in Nebraska and the Midwest in general over the past years.
“We’re also fortunate to have about 70 angel investors in the company who live in Nebraska,” Roscoe said. “These include some of the biggest business owners in Lincoln and Omaha, and they are a very good network of distribution for us. Beyond that we’ll be attending events, we’ll be hosting a podcast with CFOs, we’ll be sponsoring newsletters.”
Eye on Globalization
Although Crescent’s clients are concentrated in the Midwest, it has some venture-backed tech companies in San Francisco that raise money from investors and want to put it to work.
“Our goal with Crescent is to be the best platform for idle cash to fit,” Roscoe said. “We view this as a huge growth opportunity for businesses that aren’t being maximized, so we want to make effective cash management a reality for any business of any size. Looking forward beyond that, we think there are lots of opportunities in spend management and financing and other crypto-powered services that allow us to expand beyond cash management as a service.”
Within two years the company plans to expand overseas.
“We want to be not only the best place for idle cash to fit, but also we want to be a place where active cash is flowing [such as] for payments, spending, and invoicing,” Roscoe said. “We think there’s a natural evolution of our services. We can provide a lot of value beyond just earning better returns on your existing cash.”
Recently Crescent announced its $5 million pre-seed funding round.
“We had a national bank founder, a billionaire who invested, we had early SpaceX engineers participate,” Roscoe said. “Since we announced that $5 million, we have raised a few million more, but we haven’t announced it yet.
“We’re well-funded, we have a very experienced team, and we have an ambitious road map. Those are three things that build credibility today and get clients excited about where things are headed in the future.”
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