HSBC Asset Management has led a $4 million seed funding round for Bizbaz, a Singapore-based startup using non-traditional data to help financial firms assess credit risk.
More than seven out of 10 of South East Asia’s 680 million population is unbanked and therefore does not have credit data.
However, mobile phone penetration rates in the region are 67%, enabling Bizbaz to tap into a trove of lifestyle and social, as well as financial, data to build up a risk profile of people.
The firm says its technology helps financial services firms acquire and serve unbanked and underbanked people whilst also allowing them to reduce their costs.
Hayk Hakobyan, CEO, Bizbaz, says: "Most financial institutions and financial technology companies still use outdated financial-history based credit risk systems.
"Our solutions analyse all financial and non-financial data, which have meaningful impact on risk assessment for loans, insurance and other financial services."
Remi Bourrette, head, venture investments, HSBC Asset Management, adds: "In Asean, the middle class is expected to more than double between now and 2030, to reach 334 million people.
"Financial services are likely to expand at the same pace if not faster. Our investment in Bizbaz provides a compelling exposure to this market shift in the region and other developing economies."