今日，总部位于蒙特利尔的金融科技公司 Flinks 宣布完成175万美元种子轮融资，用于招聘新团队，并在澳大利亚和欧洲等新市场扩展其产品平台。
本轮融资由 Luge Capital 和 National Bank（加拿大国家银行） 共同领导。 Luge Capital 是一家专注于金融科技领域的新风险投资基金。该基金刚刚于今年6月初成立，并筹得7500万美元，用于投资金融服务初创公司，本次针对 Flinks 的投资也是 Luge Capital 出手的第一个项目。
Luge 普通合伙人Karim Gillani表示：“开设银行账户、申请信贷、申请保险等等，这些需要手工完成的任务每一项都很繁琐。Flinks 通过了解客户的特定现金流状况、财务历史行为，可以为客户的金融服务提供非常个性化的体验。”
National Bank 人工智能、风险投资和区块链高级副总裁 David Furlong也表示，“在数字化加速转型的时代环境下，Flinks 能够提供方便、简单和高效的AI创新解决方案，帮助优化客户体验。”
就在最近，欧盟立法者引入了《服务付款指令》——强制欧盟地区的银行在用户同意的情况下向第三方公开他们的数据。这一法令将帮助金融科技公司与银行竞争。因为目前，银行对于客户信息享有垄断权。“这为Flinks与其他金融机构合作推动银行数据公开化提供了大好机会。” Gillani 说道。
下一步，Flinks还计划利用这笔资金发展除了API 以外的业务，比如通过正在开发的 Flinks Score，进一步预测客户的信誉，将客户的贷款支付与其现金流情况联系起来，计算出偿还贷款的最佳方法以及支付方案。
Montreal-based FinTech Flinks has raised a $1.75 million in a seed round as it looks to expand its product platform.
The funding was led by Luge Capital and National Bank, with participation from Innostart Capital, Panache Ventures, iNovia Capital and Conconi Growth Partners.
It’s the first investment for Luge, which launched with $75 million to invest in financial services startups in early June.
Flinks last raised a $500,000 pre-seed in July 2017. The goal since its launch has been to power FinTech companies, who can use Flinks’ integration to validate account ownership, verify account balances, or access transaction histories of customers.
Flinks has since moved to working with financial institutions like Transferwise, for whom it’s facilitating instant account verification and acting as the link between Transferwise and Canadian banks. Other clients include ATB Financial and Merchant Advance Capital.
“In today’s world of accelerated digital transformation, National Bank strives to be at the forefront by offering its clients innovative solutions that are convenient, simple and efficient,” said David Furlong, senior vice president of artificial intelligence, venture capital and blockchain at National Bank. “It is very important for us to support environments that stimulate innovation and have a positive impact on customer experience. That is why we are pleased to join forces with Montreal-based Flinks.”
Flinks is using the funding to expand beyond being an API provider, and is currently developing Flinks Score, which can predict the creditworthiness of customers. Targeted to lenders varying from retail to mortgage, the platform would tie a customer’s loan payments to their cash flow situation, predicting the best method for paying back that loan and by how much.
“In the last few months, Flinks has been working on a risk score that predicts consumer default with more accuracy than any existing scores. We are bridging that gap by accessing consumer financial data that is currently not comprised in traditional credit scores,” said Yves-Gabriel Leboeuf, CEO of Flinks. “For example, it’s not because you have a late payment on your cell phone that you are at risk, in a case where you earn $150,000 of yearly income, and possess a RRSP account of $50,000. We like to say that we go further than the bureau.”
Flinks said that it’s solving a problem for both financial incumbents and FinTechs: larger enterprises like banks often don’t have the ability to go to market quickly, while FinTechs lack the data to build out sophisticated AI processes, even if they have the vision and the agility. Because Flinks easily plugs into the back end of FinTech companies and relationships with financial institutions, they have insight into working on both sides.
“How you open up a bank account, how you apply for credit, how you apply for insurance; a lot of these tasks are very manual in nature,” said Karim Gillani, general partner at Luge, about why the firm invested in the startup. “By allowing access to your specific cash flow situation, by understanding your financial history behaviour, the service providers that offer you financial services can give you a very personalized experience.”
The funding will go towards hiring talent and scaling its platform in new markets like Australia and Europe. Recently European Union lawmakers introduced the Payment to Services Directive, forcing banks operating in the region to open up their data to third-parties if customers consent. It’s set to help FinTechs compete with banks, which until now have had a monopoly on customer information. “It provides a big opportunity for Flinks to work with financial institutions to externalize their data,” said Gillani.