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Tracking fintech, banking & financial services innovations since 1994
Alternative credit scoring innovator CredoLab announced a new $7 million investment today. The Series A round was led by identity data specialist GBG, a company that entered a technology partnership with CredoLab back in June and is now taking a minority stake in the Singapore-based firm. CredoLab plans to use the additional capital to fuel expansion in markets in Asia, Latin America, Europe, and Africa.
Founded in 2016, CredoLab made its Finovate debut at our Asian conference in 2018. At the event, the company demonstrated its proprietary CredoScore which converts digital footprints into highly predictive scores that can be used by banks and lenders to guide credit decisioning. The company’s technology examines mobile device data – collected after securing the user’s permission – and leverages AI-based algorithms to analyze 50,000+ data points to, as the company puts it, “connect the dots that traditional credit scoring methods can’t.”
GBG Group uses Credo’s technology to bolster its own antifraud platform’s ability to determine creditworthiness during the onboarding process. GBG Chief Executive Chris Clark praised the way Credo’s risk scoring will help it better serve “good customers who are financially excluded” – especially by lowering false positives.
In addition to its partnership with GBG, CredoLab teamed up with GoBear and fellow Finovate alum Mambu in June to help the financial platform expand to the Philippines. The previous month, CredoLab was highlighted by Fintechnews Singapore in its look at fintechs in SE Asia that are making a difference when it comes to financial inclusion. The company this year has also worked with LenDenClub, among the fastest-growing P2P lending platforms in India, and collaborated with Salary Dost – also based in India – to help the lending platform enhance its underwriting process.
A winner in the ASEAN Open category of the SFF x SWITCH Fintech Awards last year, CredoLab was recognized in January as Indonesia’s first credit scoring company. Since inception, CredoLab has powered more than $2 billion in loans issued, analyzing more than one trillion data points across 21 countries. Peter Barcak is co-founder and CEO.
A pair of Finovate alums have joined forces to help a leading financial platform in Asia launch a lending solution as part of its planned expansion in the region.
German cloud banking platform provider Mambu and alternative credit score provider CredoLab have announced a partnership with GoBear, a financial services platform based in Singapore. The company, founded in 2015 as a metasearch engine and now operating as a financial services platform that has served more than 55 million consumers, plans to expand into the Philippines later this year. Technology from Mambu will power the core system in GoBear’s lending architecture, with CredoLab’s credit scoring helping ensure the company is able to bring financing to those communities that need it most – and often struggle to secure it.
“Having access to responsible credit should be a financial right for all,” GoBear Chief Lending Officer Mike Singh said. “Tapping into fintech solutions like Mambu’s and CredoLab’s brings us one step closer to making this a reality for the region’s 296 million unbanked or underbanked.”
The tripartite partnership was the result of a pair of relationships; Mambu and CredoLab have been long-time partners, while CredoLab and GoBear collaborated as recently as November 2018, when the two companies worked together on a credit solution for the underbanked.
“In less than five years of operation, GoBear has built a stellar reputation as a leading financial services platform and we envisage great things for the company as it continues to build its lending business,” Mambu Managing Director for APAC Myles Bertrand said. He pointed out that the company’s technology would enable GoBear to readily add new products while maintaining a high level of customer service.
CredoLab CEO Peter Barcak pointed to his company’s SDK, API, and alternative credit score – which leverages metadata from smartphone usage – as powerful tools for companies like GoBear that are trying to serve a broader array of customers. “Our ability to generate a credit score for customers who cannot prove their creditworthiness in the conventional financial system makes us uniquely positioned to support GoBear as they diversify their business and move into lending in a controlled way.”
Finovate alums since 2013 and 2018 respectively, both Mambu and CredoLab made their Finovate debuts at FinovateAsia events. Mambu demonstrated its technology the year we held our Asian conference in Singapore. CredoLab unveiled its CredoScore the year we held FinovateAsia in Hong Kong.
Speaking of FinovateAsia, remember that our new, all-digital FinovateAsia conference begins next week. Check out our FinovateAsia hub for more details!
Is there anyone out there who is NOT trying to secure a digital banking license in Singapore?
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced last week that it has received 21 applications for digital bank licenses. A decision is expected in June, and the fortunate five who receive licenses will be able to launch their businesses by the middle of next year. Applicants have included a wide range of companies, from e-commerce and telecommunications firms, to fintechs, PSPs, and crowdfunding platforms.
Specifically, MAS is making available two different types of license: a digital full bank license and a digital wholesale bank license. There are two digital full bank licenses available, which would enable non-banks to accept deposits from retail customers. There are seven applicants for these licenses, which come with initial, temporary restrictions on deposits and capitalization.
The digital wholesale bank license will permit firms to lend to SMEs. Fourteen companies have applied for the three digital wholesale bank licenses MAS is making available. These new businesses would be required to meet the same regulations as existing wholesale banks, including capitalization of $74 million (S$100 million). Among the more well-known firms competing for these digital wholesale bank licenses are rideshare startup Grab and Ant Financial.
Also in the running for a digital wholesale bank license is Finovate alum and Best of Show winner Arival Bank. The firm announced its application earlier this week, noting that securing the license “will add tremendous value in Arival’s quest to becoming a borderless fintech bank.” The company plans to leverage its ArivalOS digital banking technology, as well as its banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform to serve the freelancers, micro businesses, and startups that it believes remain underserved within the broader SME market worldwide.
In other international news on the Finovate blog this week, we talked with João Pinto of Portugal’s ITSCREDIT ahead of the company’s Finovate appearance next month in Berlin. We also featured German insurtech Getsafe’s expansion to the U.K., looked at European deposit marketplace Raisin’s acquisition of U.S. fintech Choice Financial Solutions, and profiled French mobile payments app Lydia as it locks in $45 million in new funding.
Here is our weekly look at fintech around the world.
Central and Southern Asia
Business Maverick looks at PayU’s decision to merge its consumer lending business, LazyPay, with Indian digital credit platform, PaySense.
EpiFi, a Bengalaru, India-based digital banking startup founded by a pair of former Google executives, raises $13.2 million in funding.
Entrepreneur India features B2B digital ledger mobile app, KhataBook.
Latin America and the Caribbean
Resuelve tu Deuda, a Mexican fintech that specializes in helping consumer repair their credit, raises $24 million in funding.
Nasdaq.com lists online payments, banking, billpay, proptech, and lending in its feature, 5 Opportunities for Fintech Disruption in Latin America.
Brazilian neobank Nubank announces its first acquisition, purchasing local consulting company Plataformatec largely to access the firm’s crew of engineering and developer talent.
Digital-only neobank Tonik secures banking license in Philippines ahead of planned launch.
Arival Bank is the latest fintech to throw its hat into the Singapore digital banking license ring.
CredoLabearns listing from Indonesia’s Financial Services Authority OJK) as an official provider of financial services in the country – the first fintech in Indonesia to be granted this recognition.
EverSend founder Stone Atwine talks about trends in the African fintech industry with CNBC Africa.
Kenyan fintech Alternative Circle earns recognition as “One to Watch” in the first global fintex index ranking 2020 by Findexable.
What can we expect from South African fintech in 2020? Ventureburn examines the country’s prospects.
Central and Eastern Europe
Euromoney takes a look at the complicated relationship between banks and fintechs in the CEE region.
The Paypers interviews Valeri Valtchev of the Bulgarian Fintech Association on the evolution of Bulgaria as a fintech hub.
Latvian fintech Jeff App locks in €150,000 to help improve financial inclusion for borrowers in Southeast Asia.
Middle East and Northern Africa
Salaam African Bank in Djibouti selects core banking technology from Oracle FSS.
A partnership between crypto exchange Huobi and Dubai-based real estate firm fäm Properties will enable investors to pay in a digital assets such as Bitcoin, Ether, and XRP.
Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) introduces its Instant Credit Card service via its mobile app.
As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. Finovate Global is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.
The nearly-$400 million poured into fintech companies in Nigeria alone this week is being remarked upon as a testament to the growing investor interest in sub-Saharan Africa. The three recipients of the new capital in recent days are OPay ($120 million), Interswitch ($200 million), and PalmPay ($40 million). The investors include Sequoia Capital China and SoftBank Ventures Asia, as well as China’s Transsion and Visa.
For comparison, African fintechs raised $357 million in all of 2018, according to a 2019 report from the GSM Association, The Mobile Economy, Sub-Saharan Africa. Quoted in the Financial Times on the week’s funding news, Guaranty Trust Bank chief executive Segun Agbaje credited the payments industry for the surge in investment, calling the growth in the sector “probably like no other on the continent.”
Finovate made its African debut last year in Cape Town, South Africa. For an in-depth look at recent trends in African fintech, check out Jonathan Gregson’s “Africa’s Fintech Makeover.”
China’s impact on international fintech is also evident in the news that Ant Financial is considering applying for a virtual banking license in Singapore. Successfully securing such a license would enable Ant Financial to compete against Chinese incumbents like DBS Group Holdings and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. Ant Financial secured a license to operate a digital wallet in Hong Kong last year.
Latin America and the Caribbean
Brazil’s digital bank Neon raises $94 million in round led by General Atlantic and Brazil Banco Votorantim.
Biz Latin Hub’s Craig Dempsey makes the case for Mexico as the fintech sector to watch in 2020.
Mexican non-bank wallet service Todito Cash inks partnerships with four financial payment solutions companies.
Ant Financial may be one the hunt for a Singaporean virtual banking license, reports Bloomberg, following the online finance titan’s recent scoring of a license to operate a digital wallet in Hong Kong.
InstaReM rebrands as Nium, announces cross border payments partnership with Cambodian banking group, PhillipBank.
Indonesia’s biggest banking group, Bank Mandiri will use the Avaloq’sBanking Suite to run its wealth management division, which has $14 billion in assets under management.
Nigeria’s OPay raises $120 million in new funding. The investment adds to the $50 million the mobile payments service raised in June.
Asilimia, a Kenya-based fintech that helps SMEs access more efficient mobile payment solutions, secures $350,000 in funding.
South African digital commerce fintech Vectra wins Seedstars Cape Town competition.
Central and Eastern Europe
Revolutreaches 250,000 users in Hungary and reports an 8x gain in monthly transaction volume since the beginning of the year.
CredoLab, which made its Finovate debut at FinovateAsia last fall, has teamed up with all-digital CIMB Bank Philippines to help improve financial inclusion in the country. The bank is using CredoLab’s white label solution, CredoApp, to gain instant insight into the creditworthiness of loan applicants. CIMB Bank hopes to leverage the AI-powered technology to better serve underbanked populations with “thin-file” credit histories.
“With CredoLab, we are now focusing on making our application and underwriting process more efficient so that we can extend credit to a broader market without compromising on our cost of risk,” explained CIMB Bank Philippines CEO Vijay Manoharan. “In this way, we can further drive financial inclusion by enabling more Filipinos access to formal credit lending facilities efficiently.”
Personal loans are the first products to be introduced as part of this collaboration between CIMB and CredoLab. Customers can now apply for a loan of up to one million Philippine pesos ($19,000 USD) and receive in-principle approvals via their CIMB app. The bank said that within the first two weeks of launching the partnership, more than 1,000 customers have already been scored.
“CIMB Bank has been steadfast in adopting the latest technologies to present the best banking solutions to their customers,” CredoLab CEO and co-founder Peter Barcak said. “We are delighted that through our plug and play solution that complements and boosts their existing processes, we are powering CIMB Bank Philippines’ latest effort in driving financial inclusion by providing credit to those who lack a traditional credit background.”
CredoLab demonstrated its CredoScore solution at FinovateAsia 2018. The technology leverages AI-backed algorithms to turn the digital footprints of customers into highly predictive scorecards. With more than 50,000 data points from the customer’s mobile device – collected with the customer’s permission and privacy consent, CredoScore enables financial institutions to gain more accurate insights and make more informed decisions.
Founded in 2016 and headquartered in Singapore, CredoLab has raised more than $3 million in funding from investors including Walden International, Fintonia Group, and FORUM. The company was featured in FintechNews Singapore’s 29 Hottest Fintechs in Singapore in 2019 roster earlier this year.
With real funding at stake, what are you waiting for? Apply to demo your tech at FinovateAsia or FinovateMiddleEast today. The application is free and you have nothing to lose!
The Middle East and North Africa startup culture has continued to mature, especially when it comes to early stage companies. Part of the growth can be attributed to the region’s investment in both talent and infrastructure. Coding programs and regional hackathons have not only added to the talent pool of startup recruits, they have also given the startup culture a boost.
In Asia, India has risen as the region’s top country for fintech funding. The $286 million in fintech funding the country raised in Q1 of this year outranks China’s total of $192 million raised for fintechs in that same quarter. Part of the slowdown in China can be attributed to increased regulation in the region.
As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. Finovate Global: Fintech News from Around the World is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.
Middle East and Northern Africa
ZagTrader and BeQuant team Up to help institutions go crypto.
Temenospartners with Saudi Arabia’s Al Rajhi bank.
Emirates NBD to work with Intellect Design Arena for a planned digital transformation of its transaction banking platform.
Central and South Asia
BankBazaarannounces partnership with Ujjivan Small Finance Bank for Personal Loans.
Victoria Commercial Bank Kenya goes live with corporate banking technology powered by i-exceed’sAppzillon.
Aurora interviews Bernhard Klemen, international partner with venture capital fund Sarmayacar on opportunities for venture financing for Pakistani fintech startups.
Latin America and the Caribbean
German challenger bank N26 announces plans to expand to Brazil.
BBVA Colombia looks at its role in helping promote fintech innovation in Peru. In Spanish.
A collaboration between alternative credit scoring specialist CredoLab and personal finance comparison site GoBear will make it easier for the underbanked to get access to credit. A new smartphone app, Easy Apply, will leverage CredoLab’s credit assessment technology to serve underbanked markets of Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Easy Apply leverages CredoLab’s predictive credit scorecard solution to the help thin-file applicants access unsecured credit products including credit cards and personal loans. The AI-powered technology extracts and analyzes data from the user’s smartphone to make highly-predictive behavioral insights. These insights are used to build customized credit risk scorecards that are tailor-made for individual lenders and specific products. This enables lenders to benefit from access to creditworthy borrowers who might otherwise be overlooked by traditional credit risk assessment strategies.
“We are excited to be partnering with GoBear to help banks profitably serve their customers including the underbanked,” CredoLab co-founder and CEO Peter Barcak said. “Since our launch in 2016, through our use of non-traditional alternative data points, we have seen a significant drop in cost of risk, helped reduce the time-to-yes to a few seconds, and achieved almost 45% increase in approval rates,” Barcak added. “I am optimistic that we can achieve similar results through this partnership.”
Easy Apply will be integrated as a downloadable app within GoBear’s Easy Choices feature, which gives customers the ability to select products that fit their financial profile. Credit card offerings will be the first products available with personal loans, insurance, and lines of credit to follow.
“There is a massive opportunity here in Southeast Asia to continue improving financial inclusion by constantly innovating solutions,” GoBear CEO Adrian Chng, said. “Our partnership with CredoLab will bridge the divide between the underbanked and financial institutions by giving both parties access to the right technology at the right moment to create better outcomes.”
Founded in 2016, Singapore-based CredoLab made its Finovate debut earlier this month in Hong Kong as part of FinovateAsia. The company, which was named among Singapore Business Review’s Top 20 Start-Ups at the beginning of the year, has served more than 40 lenders in 12 markets across southeast Asia, China, Africa, and Latin America. With $2.1 million in funding, CredoLab includes Walden International, Reliance Modal Ventura, and Fintonia Group among its investors.