Aire’s Authorization Signifies a Move to Modernise Credit Scoring
LONDON, October 3, 2016
Aire, a startup that gives people a new credit score to help them qualify for essential financial products, is now authorized and regulated by the UK’s financial regulator The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Aire is the first significant entrant in this sector which typically has been led by the ‘big three’ bureaus. The company also announced that it raised a further $2 million in funding earlier this year led by White Star Capital alongside Sunstone Capital and Accion Venture Lab.
Aire algorithmically generates a score factoring in the character and capacity of applicants by leveraging machine learning to emulate the power of human intelligence. This helps to supplement the thin credit history of applicants such as young adults, the self-employed or those who have recently moved country. In the coming years this will become a vital pillar for the economy as people and jobs become ever more mobile. The traditional financial system has struggled to understand these consumers and they are often discounted when they apply for financial products.
Co-founder and CEO of Aire, Aneesh Varma comments: “It’s a huge step for us and also for credit scoring. We strongly believe that lenders and their customers need a fairer and more accurate way to assess creditworthiness. That means credit scores need to be more relevant to how we live and work today. Many of us will end up being mobile or self-employed which the current credit risk-scoring system will have to recognize. What feels like the fringes today will become the norm tomorrow.
“As things stand, genuine hard-working people are being penalized by the way credit scores are created, that’s not good for growth, innovation or wellbeing.
“We believe we have a solution to address this issue, balancing the numerous forces at play across data, ethics, regulation and technology.”
Aire will work with a select number of lending partners in each category. The company is currently focused on partnerships with lenders in personal loans and credit cards but has plans to expand to broader financial products.
With existing client engagements across the globe, Aire operates out of London where it continues to bring on board researchers, data scientists and industry experts.
Aire is redefining how the market approaches credit scoring with contextual awareness. By harnessing industry expertise, machine intelligence and an in-depth understanding of the issues facing many people, Aire allows credit scoring to go beyond just the data and understand the story of the applicant. Aire was launched in 2014 and is backed by notable investors.