Orange Digital Ventures is joining the Series B round of 11 million dollars in the Fintech company, Aire, alongside Crane Venture Partners, Experian Ventures and existing investors, White Star Capital, and Sunstone Capital.
The new round will allow Aire, which aims to make credit fairer for consumers and more valuable to lenders, to support its rapid growth-phase including investment in Aire’s innovative credit insight engine and expansion in the US.
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.
The start-up’s solution meets several of Orange’s strategic objectives, particularly in mobile financial services, where the group has two diversification initiatives with Orange Bank in Europe and Orange Money in Africa, both aimed at serving the customer with the best solutions to improve their financial life.