Bud co-founder and CEO Ed Maslaveckas said the Open Banking fintech’s recent work on data enrichment and its data labelling capability “to improve our machine learning models, so they can build an accurate picture of who the customer really is”, has helped it secure $80 million in a Series B funding round.
He told Open Banking Expo: “What we’ve always been interested in from an Open Banking perspective is the ability to use this newly-available dataset to automate and potentially change a lot of the ways, not only that customers experience their finance, but that businesses deliver finance to their customers.
“If you’re looking to automate any experience or product, the key to that is doing really good data enrichment.”
Maslaveckas, who co-founded Bud in 2015, said: “A lot of people in the Open Banking space have been working on tens of thousands of connections. We went really deep on the data science piece and that’s now starting to pay off.”
The Series B investment was led by Bellis Phantom Holdco, an indirect affiliate of investment funds managed by TDR Capital LLP, followed by SEI investments and other existing investors, including Outward VC.
It follows the fintech’s Series A round in 2019, which saw participation from Goldman Sachs, HSBC and ANZ.
Bud’s transactional AI models enable financial institutions to personalise digital products and automate lending decisions, and among the businesses already using Bud’s Open Banking platform to automate affordability checks are TotallyMoney, ANZ and Street UK.
Proceeds from the latest round will be used to develop Bud’s models and scale the business in new markets.
“We’re able to launch in a new country in under six weeks with a high degree of accuracy. Now is a great time to take a good amount of funding, not only to build new and better models, and more financial use cases, but go to new countries,” Maslaveckas said.
He added that TDR Capital is “a really good fit” for Bud because it has its own team of data scientists.
“Going forward, their engagement with us is around helping us to develop that capability.”
Gary Lindsay, managing partner at TDR Capital, said: “We are hugely excited by the potential of Bud, not only in the ability of its platform to truly harness the opportunities from Open Banking, but also in its far-reaching potential to help power other businesses we are invested in.
“The effective integration of technology and data science has long been a core part of TDR’s operational strategy and this investment is consistent with that approach.”