ImpactAlpha, August 20 – TPG Growth’s $2 billion impact fund led a $13 million Series A funding round for fintech startup Mines, which uses “alternative credit-scoring” data from phone records, bank account and payment transactions to help underserved consumers gain access to credit.
Alternative credit scoring and risk assessment now seems to be the norm for fintech startups looking to expand access to financial services for billions of adults excluded from traditional banking systems. Startups are identifying new metrics that are good indicators of financial behavior, and developing models to supplement mainstream credit scoring standards. Or, in Mines’ case, to establish baselines in markets “that lack robust credit bureau infrastructure.”
Mines, based in San Mateo, Calif. and Lagos, Nigeria, partners with banks, retailers and mobile operators to underwrite and offer consumer credit products for as little as $30. Most of the products are mobile-, but not necessarily smartphone, based.
Mines launched in Nigeria in 2017 and has focused on the West African market for growth. With the new funding, the startup is eyeing expansion in Latin America and Southeast Asia.
Mines is the latest fintech investment from The Rise Fund, which has also backed payments company Cellulant, mobile banking business Varo Money, and micro-investing app Acorns. Eleven other investors backed Mines’ Series A round, including Velocity Capital, Western Technology Investments, and First Ally Capital.