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FairPlay raises $10m to tackle bias in lending

FairPlay raises $10m to tackle bias in lending

FairPlay, a startup using AI fairness techniques to reduce algorithmic bias in lending, has raised $10 million in Series A funding.

The round was led by Nyca Partners, with participation from Cross River Digital Ventures, Third Prime, Fin Capital, TTV, Nevcaut Ventures, Financial Venture Studio and Jonathan Weiner.

Describing itself as a 'Fairness-as-a-Service' provider for algorithmic decision-making, FairPlay is looking to address the bias faced by people of colour, women and other historically disadvantaged groups when it comes to credit decisions.

It does this through two APIs. The first provides Fairness Analysis, analysing a lending model's inputs, outputs and outcomes to identify if disparities exist and for which historically disadvantaged groups.

The second, Second Look, uses Fairness Aware AI technologies to re-underwrite declined loan applications for borrowers from protected groups. The technology assesses whether applicants declined by the primary algorithm resemble 'good' borrowers in ways that weren't previously considered.

The result, says FairPlay, is that more applicants from underserved groups are responsibly approved for loans, reducing bias and increasing lenders' profitability.

The funding will be used to beef up the company's engineering and data science teams and expand its products into the insurance, marketing and fraud industries.

Kareem Saleh, CEO, FairPlay, says: "Lenders use FairPlay because they believe, as we do, that fairness is good for people, profits, and progress. We are excited to use this new funding to further invest in our products, grow our team and bring Fairness-as-a-Service to new markets."

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