Aire Co-Founder and CEO, Aneesh Varma

Aire, which aims to make credit fairer for consumers, and more valuable to lenders, has successfully closed its Series B round of funding, attracting notable investors. Spearheaded by leading European enterprise investor Crane Venture Partners with strategic investments from Experian Ventures and Orange Digital Ventures.

Today, a staggering 1.7 billion adults lack access to formal financial services.  In the United States alone, one in ten Americans are considered ‘credit invisible’ because they have no credit record, and almost half of all American millennials feel “held back” due to poor credit scores.  Developed nearly three decades ago, the credit scores today determine who can access financial products, and as a result, impacts who can buy a house, go to school, purchase a car, or participate in any of a number of other basic economic activities.

New forms of “alternative data” have proliferated in recent years and widened the base of data used in credit scores. However, with machine learning as an enabler, these data and ‘digital footprints’ can offer highly predictive outcomes and offer an unprecedented opportunity to better serve consumers.

 

Aire’s solutions – deep consumer credit risk knowledge combined with new consumer-supplied data, leveraging machine learning in a regulated environment – are addressing this growing opportunity aiming at making credit fairer for consumers, and more valuable to lenders.

 

Since receiving Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approval, the company has grown from a start-up with eight people to a fully-fledged operation with a headcount approaching 40. Along the way, it has forged numerous alliances with notable financial institutions such as Toyota Financial Services and online retailer N Brown, alongside high-street banks.

These partnerships have underlined the versatility of Aire’s technology, which can be integrated at various stages of the credit lifecycle. To date, Aire’s sophisticated algorithmic model has scored over $10 billion of credit across various categories of consumer credit, which gives a competitive advantage as the model improves with the data quantity and quality. Helping lenders access more customers without increasing their risk appetite, Aire has seen credit approvals increase by up to 19%.

Aire Co-Founder and CEO, Aneesh Varma, said: “Aire is built on the premise that empowering consumers to play an active role in their credit assessment is the only way to give lenders a comprehensive view with which to make a decision. Since launching five years ago we have come a long way in bringing along the credit ecosystem: FCA regulation; scalable technology; proven uplift for lending partners; and funding. Today’s announcement is a significant milestone in the Aire journey and showcases how much the market is paying attention, with the support of the largest credit bureau. This Series B funding is allowing us to push the Aire philosophy further into new markets, such as the US, as well as new sectors.”

Krishna Visvanathan, founding partner at Crane Venture Partners, said, “We’ve worked closely with the Aire team since inception, investing in the company based on our firm belief in their vision to reimagine credit decisioning for the 21st century. Aire’s unique contextual decisioning methodology combines direct consumer engagement, new data sources and its dynamic algorithmic model to provide lenders with a better way to evaluate and make credit decisions. Aire is yet another great example of a category-leading enterprise software company formed in Europe that is fundamentally changing an industry, and we are proud to support its new phase of growth.”

The foundation of Aire’s product is deep consumer credit risk knowledge combined with new consumer-supplied data, leveraging machine learning in a regulated environment. This unique combination is driving Aire’s market acceptance and has encouraged the funding from Crane Venture Partners, Experian Ventures, and Orange Digital Ventures.

The new round of investment follows the $5.5 million Series A raised in July 2017 led by White Star Capital and Sunstone Capital, who also joined this round.

by Bill Boyle
IBS Intelligence Senior Editor
imp-loader
Scroll Up