In early 2021, we were shuttered in our homes trying to adapt to pandemic-mandated rules and regulations. You’d hardly imagine such turmoil would be fertile ground for innovation, yet the pandemic aggressively fueled a digitization process that was already in motion. The technology was out there, but people were now adopting it at an unprecedented pace.
Seizing the opportunity
The prerequisites for digital transformation are innovative ideas and a technical infrastructure that can lead to behavioral changes.
I spent years building and launching new credit products in companies where these products were the core offering. These companies had a lot to consider beyond ideation and the development of technical components. They needed to address compliance, underwriting, funding and many other business rules. There was also risk, which is rarely enticing.
Building these solutions was complicated. Businesses who wanted to offer them either shelved their idea, or had to rely on partnerships with archaic financial institutions.
Being familiar with the fintech space, I asked myself: why is there no infrastructure to manage the complexities that were curbing the development of credit-based products?
Democratizing credit services
There are a multitude of credit based products available, from loans to advances, from BNPL to installments. These are all lucrative for the businesses offering them, but involve some element of risk that needs to be managed.
Historically, the credit market was owned by large financial institutions who had the prowess and the trust of businesses and consumers alike. Nowadays, large enterprises like Amazon or Walmart build the functionality in-house to take advantage of the many benefits of extending credit to customers. But we’re in a new era where financial services are becoming a lot more accessible, and extending credit should be no exception.
Business interactions are mostly digitized as data flows through various APIs. There is an abundance of information, and as a result it can be argued that businesses “know” their customers (and their payments track record) a lot better than banks. That’s a tremendous advantage when underwriting - so why shouldn’t they build their own custom credit products?
Companies should be able to extend credit to their trusted customers, and their customers can take advantage of the offering to improve their cash flow and financial resilience. But the infrastructure and the business mindset need to catch up.
Filling in the Gap
The eCommerce revolution would not have happened without platforms like Shopify letting people build online shops without writing a single line of code, or Stripe empowering them to process payments online at scale. And today, thanks to the eCommerce trailblazers, businesses can compete with giants like Amazon or eBay. But the credit-based products space was lacking a force like Shopify or Stripe.
This gap inspired me to find my partner-in-crime - Moran Mishan, our Co-Founer and CTO - and to start our journey to drive the same transformation in the credit products domain.
We decided to dedicate our knowledge and expertise to usher in the digital transformation that would change the way consumers and businesses take loans, mortgages, get working capital, cash advances, flexible payment terms, credit cards - you name it. We set out to allow any company to build their own next generation of products in the credit space.
A September to remember
Transforming our vision into reality has been an adventure. We built a dedicated team that developed a first-of-its-kind platform. And now, we’ve reached an important milestone in our journey. We have a solid product, tested and proven by a formidable list of business partners, and a supportive network of investors who believe in us, in our product and in this burgeoning market space.
In September we’re celebrating two important events. We’re coming out of stealth mode to showcase the fruits of our hard work to the world. And we’re announcing $18M in funding, which we’ll use to further invest in team growth, in product development, to continue providing a best-in-class service for our business partners.
Our round was led by global software investor Insight Partners with participation from Cross River Digital Ventures, Y-Combinator, Flexport Fund, TLV Partners, Operator Partners, Verissimo Ventures, Interplay ventures, Plug and Play, and the George Kaiser Family Foundation.
Raising capital for tech in 2022 is not a simple task. The markets are volatile and investors are jittery. So we’re especially humbled and honored by the trust and faith our investors have in our mission.
Full force forward
Embedded finance is more than a hot trend. The benefits to businesses are clear. Companies can offer new services to their customer base. This can establish new revenue streams, build customer trust and drive stickiness and customer lifetime value. Customers get advanced payment options and easy access to credit and other crucial services.
On our part, Moran and I will continue to build and lead our team to empower companies to manage underwriting flows end-to-end - independently - without relying on 3rd parties or using up valuable development resources. We’ll grow and extend our plug&play solution for any type of business, from young startups to mature companies who want to offer in-house risk and credit services.