We are excited to announce that Matchstick Ventures Fund II has completed an investment in Curu Credit. Curu is a lead recovery service that enables lenders to fund more loans by helping build their applicant's credit eligibility.
Even before the pandemic, lenders and the people they serve were strained. Financial institutions often spend large amounts of time and money to acquire each potential customer, only to lose many of them at the finish line because they weren’t quite creditworthy, frustrating lenders and applicants alike. Often, this near miss ends up excluding underrepresented communities from much needed resources. Some estimates say $100 billion is lost each year pursuing these failed leads.
Further trends make this even worse. The growth of fintech and online lending, and the extra competition they bring, has meant lenders have to be even more scrupulous with their loans, while the recent rise in gig work and nontraditional employment has complicated traditional lending criteria. Add on COVID-19 and an economic downturn, and there’s an extra high demand for credit, as well an extra high incentive for lenders not to waste a single customer-acquisition dollar. Lenders could address this problem with tailored tech tools, but many lack the will or experience to design these solutions themselves.
Curu is a software tool designed by credit experts that lets lenders recover promising leads. Instead of rejecting near-creditworthy applicants, they hand them off to Curu, which analyzes customers’ provided financial data and spending patterns to offer a customized, step-by-step plan on how to build their creditworthiness and qualify for a loan under the lender’s specifications. Curu also provides alternatives and pre-qualified offers via a pre-existing network of banks and lenders. This benefits all parties: lenders increase their marketing ROI, and customers build financial literacy, credit, and ultimately, wealth. What’s more, as Curu gathers more information on customers, it helps lenders grow more comfortable with them, creating more chances for lending and upselling. Curu’s business has three revenue streams: a yearly platform fee, a monthly usage fee, and commissions earned from each loan.
David Potter (CEO) and Abb Kapoor (COO) got the idea for Curu in college when they tried to apply for credit to rent an apartment, but were denied because they were young and didn’t have enough credit history. After exploring the problem more, they realized the credit system disproportionately excludes already under-represented communities, offering a real opportunity to make the system more inclusive. Natty met the Curu team as part of the 2019 Western Union Techstars accelerator.
Founders: David Potter, Abb Kapor
HQ: Denver, CO