Blender Global, which has developed a platform for digital loans, today announced that it had raised $16 million in capital and debt in its second financing round. The capital offering was led by Blumberg Capital, and the debt was raised from European Eiffel Investment Group.
Blender has the same electronic money institution financial license used by PayPal, Facebook, and other companies. This license, which is very close to a banking license, enables the company to operate its loan platform throughout the European Union (EU) and to access EU databases.
Blender's services are cheaper than the loans offered by credit companies, but more expensive than bank loans. At the same time, Blender cofounder and CEO Gal Aviv told "Globes" that banks in Europe do not give loans easily: "The banks are in crisis. Getting a loan now from a bank in Italy can take three to five weeks, if you get it at all. With us, you can get a loan on the same day."
Aviv says that the speed of a loan taken through Blender is made possible by big data technology that creates two simultaneous profiles for each customers: "We have developed technology that can assess customers on the basis of both a financial and a behavioral profile. This enables us to check out the customer very quickly.
"We ask the customer for permission to connect to his social networks and other databases we have access to in the EU under our license, which is almost a banking license. We are connected to dozens of databases all over the EU with information about the customers' financial and family status, criminal record, and so forth.
"In addition to financial information, we look at the customer's behavior on the Internet and the social networks. The way people behave in virtual world is closely linked to their personality. This helps discover whether or not people will fulfill their obligations."
Assembling a behavioral profile is a statistical approach designed to how innumerable behavioral questions will affect the likelihood that a given customer will or will not repay a loan. Aviv says, "This provides very, very accurate results. The fact is that the failure rate on the platform is extremely low - about 1% over four years of activity."
Besides direct loans to a customer, Blender also works with banks in the EU on the white label model: the company sells its digital platform to banks and financial institutions, and becomes a partner in their digital loans apparatus.
Over the past year, Blender increased its staff from 20 employees in Israel to nearly 50 in Israel, Milan, and the Baltic states. The company plans to use the money from its current financing round for expansion in the European market, and for providing credit to meet the requirements of its growing business, which the company says almost tripled in the past six months.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on February 26, 2018
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