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First FCA-approved credit card to use open banking announces £5m seed funding & launch with Mastercard

by LLB Finance Reporter
13th Aug 21 7:13 am

Keebo, the first credit card approved by the FCA to use open banking data, today announces that it has closed a £5m seed equity round led by Breega (backers of Moneybox) and Connect Ventures (backers of Truelayer). Keebo will launch in October this year, bringing its vision of a world where everyone’s actions and transactions contribute to their overall financial growth and wellbeing.

Keebo was founded by Michael Vanaselja (CEO) and Matthew Hallett (CTO) to offer a credit card and mobile app that empowers users to build their credit, whilst also developing financial stability and personal growth. Keebo is unique, as a credit card company, in its use of behavioural underwriting, which enables the company to provide customers with the ability to understand how every purchase and financial decision they make improve their credit and financial wellbeing. This groundbreaking approach has not been achieved in the industry to date and brings a sense of wellness to credit building and personal finance.

Every transaction made with a Keebo card – and all linked accounts – feeds into the company’s underwriting technology to give users a true understanding of how they are building towards their life goals on a daily basis. Through the use of open banking technology, Keebo understands its customers’ full financial history and provides them with fair, low-interest credit, even if they don’t have a credit score. As a customer grows and evolves, their credit adapts to their changing needs and circumstances, making their credit truly personalised.

Keebo launches against the backdrop of the  sharp rise in demand for alternative credit products, such as ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL) financing. Whilst also helping to open up access to better credit to meet this demand, particularly amongst freelancers, entrepreneurs, expats and first-time home buyers who are often excluded from traditional credit,  Keebo’s credit card and app empowers customers to spend responsibly, avoid bad debt and build their credit and overall financial wellbeing. Keebo’s founders are passionate about improving their customers’ financial resilience and helping them establish a more positive relationship with their money.

The investment by Breega and Connect will enable Keebo to continue on its trajectory towards launch, with a focus on a robust recruitment drive of outstanding talent to help Keebo achieve its mission of bringing wellness to credit building and personal finance.

In addition to this seed round, Keebo has been awarded three technology grants by the UK government for developing its financial modelling, including Innovate UK’s Fast Start grant for cutting-edge start-ups. Keebo is also supported by, and launching with, Mastercard.

Micheal Vanaselja, CEO and Co-founder said, “It is more important than ever that we change our relationship with money – to take the fear away from ‘healthy’ debt and bring a strong dose of wellness into our finances. By leveraging new technology never used before in a credit card, we are proud to have created an app designed to change the future of finance for the next generation. We are thrilled to have the support of incredible investors in bringing Keebo’s vision of personalised credit to life.”

Ben Marrel, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Breega comments, “Access to safe and affordable credit should not be biased, yet today we see this happening time and time again, driving many to approach options which can put their financial future at significant risk. The solution that Keebo offers and the methods and technology it uses provide a real solution to this issue.  We’re truly delighted to be accompanying and supporting the team on this very new and exciting venture”.

Rory Stirling, Partner at Connect Ventures shares added, “Consumer credit is a fundamental and necessary part of our modern society. And yet, accessing consumer credit is broken for millions of people because they have no credit history, or because they’re negatively impacted by generic credit scoring that is outside of their control. We’re excited for Keebo to build a new category of ‘personalised credit’. The combination of behavioural underwriting, and a credit building app, will give each user access to the best credit for their specific situation, whilst also providing real-time feedback on how to improve over time. We love the Keebo mission and have been blown away by what the team have been able to achieve in such a short space of time, including being the first to be regulated by the FCA for behavioural underwriting.”

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