Affordable loan provider Abound secures new funding

Abound, a fintech offering affordable loans, has announced its new financing round. The new funding follows the startup’s continued growth, with Abound reaching profitability in April 2024, just three years after launch.

The funding announcement, totalling £0.8 billion, includes a mixture of equity and debt. The startup uses the new funding to expand into prime lending in the UK and to roll out Render, its proprietary AI credit technology platform, globally.

Abound is now estimated to be one of the UK’s fastest growing fintechs, having issued over £300 million in loans, and aims to double the size of its team from 65 to 130 people this year.

The new funding includes a multi-year asset-backed debt financing arrangement (backed by loan originations) from existing financier Citi, while the Series B equity round component is led by Silicon Valley-based GSR Ventures.

Render, Abound’s AI technology, scans customers’ bank transaction data to understand each person’s unique financial situation and determine how much they can afford to repay each month. This contrasts with traditional credit checks, which rely on statistical averages that may be accurate on average but are incorrect in almost every individual case.

The Render technology means that Abound sees 75% fewer defaults than the industry standard. As a result, Abound is able to offer lower interest rates to consumers than they can typically find elsewhere.

Abound's mission is to change how credit decisions are made globally, enabling more people to access loans at affordable rates and driving financial inclusion.

Abound is a fintech startup which aims to lead the use of Open Banking and AI in consumer credit decisioning. While this technology is still in its early stage, Abound believes it will become essential in the lending space in the future. Abound already provides its industry-leading Render technology to banks and traditional lenders across Europe to support them through the AI transition.

Gerald Chappell, CEO and Co-Founder of Abound, said: “A new investment of this size, which comes from a mixture of VC funds and global banks, is a testament to the demand for and success of Abound and Render. It speaks to the confidence investors have in our business to keep growing and in our AI-powered technology to continue transforming consumer credit.”

Michelle He, Co-Founder of Abound, said: “Open Banking has empowered consumers to take ownership of their data to get more personalised financial products. With Abound and Render, we’re showing that this can often mean they can access cheaper rates. We strongly believe that this is the future of lending.

“The Credit scoring system is dated and omits crucial pieces of the puzzle, like whether someone can actually afford to repay the loan. For those ready to embrace Open Banking, Render can offer them more accurate checks and, therefore, lower costs and risk.

“Quite simply, the technology works, and that is why we continue to grow at such a pace and why our investors continue to back us.”

Jefferson Chen, partner at GSR Ventures, said: “We are thrilled to expand our partnership with Abound, which is harnessing the power of AI and open banking to revolutionize credit decisioning. Their data-driven approach allows for more accurate risk assessments, enabling them to extend affordable credit to a wider range of customers in the UK and internationally. “Abound is at the forefront of responsible innovation in financial services, and we are confident their solutions will drive financial inclusion on a global scale."