Credit Kudos, has today announced the closure of a £5 million Series A funding to support its mission to make affordable credit accessible to all.
The investment was led by AlbionVC with participation from a stellar consortium of fintech and tech investors such as TriplePoint, Plug & Play Ventures, Ascension Ventures’ Fair by Design fund, and Entrepreneur First. Investing alongside are fintech angels Christian Faes (LendInvest), Tom Stafford (DST Global Managing Partner), Charlie Delingpole (ComplyAdvantage and MarketInvoice), Will Neale (Grabyo & Fonix Mobile) and Daniel Gandesha (PropertyPartner). Ed Lascelles, from AlbionVC, will also be joining the Credit Kudos board alongside the company’s co-founders Freddy Kelly (CEO) and Matt Schofield (CTO).
Credit Kudos is the first challenger credit bureau which uses Open Banking to replace traditional, narrow methods of credit assessment and make credit fair and accessible to all. By securely analysing bank account data, Credit Kudos enables lenders to make faster, more informed credit decisions, reduce defaults, and dramatically improve affordability assessment. This greater insight is allowing lenders to provide credit to borrowers who would have previously been declined or overlooked, and therefore might have turned to higher-cost providers.
In 2019 the company rapidly expanded its client base, adding over 50 new lenders ranging from FTSE100 firms to independent credit unions and community finance vendors. In recent months, Credit Kudos has become the chosen partner for credit intermediaries including ClearScore, CarFinance 247, and Mojo Mortgages, allowing customers to use their bank data to secure better offers across unsecured loans, car finance and mortgages.
Freddy Kelly, Founder and CEO of Credit Kudos comments: “In these challenging times, it’s more important than ever that people have access to the right financial products. We believe Open Banking will soon be the standard for credit assessments and, as the first regulated credit reference agency with the capability to measure creditworthiness using open banking data alone, we are in a fantastic position to provide a service that is needed now more than ever.
“I’m thrilled to be partnering with AlbionVC to take the company to the next stage of growth. The continued support of our investors in unprecedented market conditions is testament to the quality of our business and all the great people working at the company. With the FCA’s Credit Information Market Study on the horizon, the timing of this funding means we are now in an even stronger position to provide a real challenge to the incumbent credit reference agencies.”
Credit Kudos has recently been recognised for its commitment to provide fair credit for all, winning the Affordable Credit Challenge which was run by Nesta Challenges and HM Treasury. The winning solution from Credit Kudos and its partner Serve and Protect Credit Union (previously Police Credit Union) is a reward loan which supports those in the police, military and wider protective services family. This product uses open banking to monitor a borrower’s behaviour and automatically reduce the interest rate they pay as they develop healthy financial habits over time.
The new investors join a host of credit bureau veterans including Graham Lund, John McAndrew and Adrian Mitri (former MD, CEO and COO of Callcredit Information Group) who have previously backed the company.
Ed Lascelles, Partner at AlbionVC, said: “The credit assessment sector has been crying out for change and now new technologies and practices such as open banking have made this possible. We are extremely impressed by the meteoric rise of Credit Kudos, the exceptional people they have right across the business, and their use of innovative new fintech to disrupt the current sector. We look forward to supporting them as they continue to transform the fortunes of millions of people previously financially excluded by the outdated, traditional credit assessment model.”
Christian Faes, Investor and LendInvest Founder and Chairman, said: “I have been really impressed by Credit Kudos’ fresh approach and its ability to harness open banking data to change the lending market as we currently know it. While developing a transformational business model, Credit Kudos has also developed a purpose-led approach to the sector, ensuring borrowers are both served and protected by lenders. I genuinely think it is one of the most interesting companies in fintech at the moment.”
Matt Clifford, co-founder at Entrepreneur First, said: “Entrepreneur First believes that, with the right support, one talented individual has the potential to fundamentally change the way an entire industry operates. We first invested in Credit Kudos in 2016 and over the last year we have been very impressed with Freddy, Matt and the team’s ambition to transform the outdated credit reference industry for the better. Their innovative solutions are changing the way people right across the UK access credit in their time of need – which is more relevant than ever in the current unsettling climate.”