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Lama AI scores $9 million seed funding to unlock credit for small businesses

Source: Lama AI

Lama AI, a business banking technology provider, announces a $9 million seed investment to unlock credit opportunities for small-medium businesses.

The round was co-led by Viola Ventures & Hetz Ventures, and includes Foundation Capital and SixThirty.

Lama AI’s technology empowers Banks, Fintechs and other industry players in the embedded finance ecosystem to enable the fastest and most efficient access to bank-rate credit opportunities including term loans, lines of credit, ABL, factoring, letters of credit, SBA loans, and more.
Through an AI-powered platform, Lama AI enables its partners to onboard customers faster than ever before, while offering a wider range of financial products without compromising target risk levels. Fintech partners avoid the need to build their own lending infrastructure and models as well as secure credit facilities , while enjoying significantly increased approval rates.

“8 out of 10 small businesses that seek capital for growth, working capital, hiring, seasonality or any other reason- get rejected by their primary bank, in many cases, despite being a loyal customer for many years.” says Omri Yacubovich, Co-Founder & CEO at Lama AI. “Not only are the borrowing processes required by traditional financial institutions lengthy and demanding, the industry, as a whole, struggles in assessing risk for small businesses. We turn what is often ‘mission impossible’ into a simple, easy, and business-friendly approval. Our solution equips our bank partners with superior digital flows and streamlined processes, ensuring accurate underwriting data and insights, alongside a meaningful extension to their current credit box and product offerings. This is all made possible through our unique, collaborative approach with all of Lama’s network participants.”

Lama AI was founded by Omri Yacubovich (CEO) and Ran Magen (CTO), both of whom have extensive backgrounds in SMB risk assessment and large-scale big data technologies.

Senior lending executives have joined Lama AI’s advisory board, including Kathryn petralia, Co-Founder of Kabbage (acquired by AmEx), Dror Yosef, former GM, CDO & CTO of Fundbox, and Mike Persichini, a long-time banker and former VP of Strategic Partnerships at BlueVine.

The investment round was also joined by senior Fintech Executives including Shai Stern, CEO of Checkalt, a leading treasury management company, Nathaniel Harley, Co-Founder & CEO of Mantl, a leading provider of account origination solutions for banks and credit unions, and Elad Tsur, Co-Founder & CEO of Planck, a leading cognitive business analytics focused on the small-medium business segment.

Lama AI’s initial focus is on the U.S. business banking market. Based on pilots conducted with several U.S. financial institutions, Lama AI’s platform manages to improve a typical bank’s deal-flow acceptance rate by 300% and reduce the intake process from months to days.
“The value of the embedded finance market is expected to exceed $7 trillion over the next 10 years. We believe that the chartered banks that will continue leading in financial services are those that focus on innovation, collaboration and new types of synergies. Lama AI solves all of the above, with a strong focus on the success of small-businesses, which is a substantial underserved segment of the market.” Pavel Livshiz, General Partner at Hetz Ventures

SMBs remain underserved in their access to capital, despite an influx of fintechs innovation and digital transformations at banks. Omri, Ran and the Lama AI team have introduced an effective exchange that not only optimizes and digitizes the underwriting process, but also increases the overall accessibility of capital coverage for SMBs. Essentially automatically delivering the optimal capital source from endless permutations seamlessly. win-win-win.” Omry Ben-David, General Partner at Viola Ventures.

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