Alternative credit-scoring company Aire is a London-based startup that shows no sign of “Brexiting” any time soon. The company just closed an additional $2 million in funding, adding to the funding round it closed in April.
Today’s round was led by White Star Capital alongside Sunstone Capital and Accion Venture Lab and brings Aire’s total funding to $7 million. The company plans to use the new funds to expand its platform into new markets.
Aire announced it is now authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the financial regulator in the U.K. If you’re not familiar with the FCA, this is a pretty big deal for a startup. Receiving FCA authorization brings Aire onto a level playing field with the big-three credit bureaus.
In a statement, Aire co-founder and CEO Aneesh Varma said:
It’s a huge step for us and also for credit scoring. We strongly believe that lenders and their customers need a fairer and more accurate way to assess creditworthiness […]. As things stand, genuine hard-working people are being penalized by the way credit scores are created, and that’s not good for growth, innovation or well-being. We believe we have a solution to address this issue, balancing the numerous forces at play across data, ethics, regulation and technology.
Aire seeks to democratize access to credit by gathering meaningful data about potentially credit-worthy clients via an online interview and other reliable sources. By using artificial intelligence, the company processes the data to qualify users for credit. The company also helps lenders by expanding the pool of qualified applicants. Although Aire is currently focused on working with personal loan and credit card lenders, it plans to broaden its range of financial products.
Founded in 2014, Aire launched its API at FinovateEurope 2015 in London. In April the company was recognized in the European Fintech Top 100 list at the 2016 European Fintech Awards. Most recently, the company was featured in Tech City News magazine for its use of artificial intelligence.