FinTech startups have revolutionized the financial service industry with their niche ideas and tech-savvy innovations. If the idea can bring something new to the industry, there is a real chance of success, and London-based FinTech group FriendlyScore typifies everything right about how to grow your startup. Having been ranked first by WebSummit in 2017 for most exciting FinTech startup, and winning the FIBIC ISID award, there is a reason to feel positive about future prospects for the business.
What is the idea?
In this modern era of finance, it is not enough to use traditional credit scoring techniques for loan approvals, especially in emerging markets. Given the array of data out there, there is no excuse for having ‘too little information’ to prevent viable loan applicants from obtaining credit. FriendlyScore has the answer; a SaaS B2B solution that analyzes Big Data (social media, bank transaction data, and mobile data) to assess borrower risk and default probability, a process known as Big Data credit scoring. The company’s algorithms also have the capability to improve fraud detection and clients can expect optimal ID verification. Such innovation is welcomed in times of growing cybersecurity concerns and this makes the product a real selling point to established clients in developed markets.
What has happened so far
Founded in 2014, the prototype showed great promise and was accepted into the Startupbootcamp FinTech accelerator. The business now has an elegant set of products to sell to clients varying from SaaS for microlenders to white label and enterprise services for larger, established lenders.
FriendlyScore has been quick to identify areas in developed and emerging markets that will reap the most reward. Their biggest market is currently India where 21% of the world’s unbanked reside. Bajaj Finserv and Reliance Capital, businesses in India have bought into the idea in addition to other clients based in Africa, LATAM, Europe and Eastern Europe.
To complement a marketable idea, the business strategy must be sustainable and promote the idea well. FriendlyScore's business development strategy focuses on different channels and communication strategies in each product realizing that their target customers (SaaS and Key Account Customers) require different approaches to reach. They have shown that businesses should never underestimate the opportunities to attend industry conferences. FriendlyScore has participated in major conferences such as Money 20/20, MoneyConf and FinSum Asia to capture Key Account customers. There is a good team ethos and all members are aware of sale and marketing strategies required to bring in clients of all sizes.
What lies ahead
Individual credit scoring is just the start for FriendlyScore and their concept can be used in many different industries for different purposes. In the near future, we could see FriendlyScore’s products used in lending to SMEs, assessing riskiness for consumers of car insurance and even operating in the rental market! Cash inflows are expected to soar whilst costs will increase at a more modest rate signaling real take off for the aspiring FinTech company. In the immediate future, we can expect to see FriendlyScore bringing in more clients and closing deals with some major financial institutions.