London-based Wiserfunding, a leading provider of credit risk assessment for SME lenders, today announced a strategic partnership with CrediLinq.Ai, a Singapore-based, fully integrated AI credit platform, disrupting SME credit underwriting in Southeast Asia.
This partnership marks a crucial step in providing automated, fast and critical credit risk assessment capabilities to Southeast Asia, empowering SMEs to reach their growth objectives and access capital post-pandemic.
Dr. Gabriele Sabato and Prof. Emeritus Edward Altman, creator of the highly regarded Altman Z-score, founded Wiserfunding with a mission to disrupt the SME credit risk space and become the market standard for SME risk assessment. They currently serve more than 60 customers across three continents. Deep Singh founded CrediLinq.Ai with his partners earlier this year in direct response to the pandemic. Their mission is to disrupt lending in Asia by creating a more inclusive, accessible, digital-first and frictionless customer journey, where every business can get quicker access to growth capital.
According to an EY report on the Southeast Asian SME market, 80 per cent of the 1,200 SMEs surveyed said they needed funding to support the adoption of digital technologies, which would help improve productivity and enhance the products and services they offer. Interestingly, 68 per cent of the SMEs surveyed would be open to non-traditional lenders, the main appeal being the non-traditional lender’s significantly faster loan approval process. CrediLinq.Ai will support the development of country specific models with Wiserfunding with the joint goal to improve credit assessments for SMEs in poorly served markets, particularly small businesses that are underserved by banks.
Steven Nocka, Chief Risk Officer and Co-Founder of CrediLinq.Ai said, “CrediLinq.Ai is proud to partner with Wiserfunding to build and implement credit risk models appropriate to the SME segment in Southeast Asia. Across the region, SMEs represent more than 95 per cent of all businesses, and are historically and currently underserved by banks and other providers of capital. The key is in understanding these businesses and their needs, and to identify data sources that allow us to underwrite their risk accurately and efficiently. The partnership with Wiserfunding allows us to accelerate this work and to deliver much needed financing quickly and on far better terms than is currently available across Asia.”
Gabriele Sabato, CEO, Wiserfunding said, “It’s well known in global financial services that Southeast Asia is a huge growth opportunity with fast-emerging economies creating new corporates that have internationally recognisable brands. The growing pains of economic development coupled with the economic difficulties of the pandemic have left smaller businesses without the same access to credit as peers in advanced economies. Our partnership with CrediLinq.Ai will provide access to underserved SMEs throughout the region, championing financial inclusion through accurate, fast and fair credit decisions that boost the whole economy, not just businesses at the top.”