Team Koyo in London

Welcome Koyo, founded by former-VC, Thomas Olszewski, to the Seedcamp Nation. We first invested in Tom over a year ago with his idea, built off-the-back of his first-hand experience emigrating to the UK, to provide transparent, fairly-priced loans to support newcomers to the UK or people who’ve never applied for credit before. We’re delighted for the team as they gear up to launch and announce their $4.9M round led by Forward Partners and with support from Christian Faes (Founder & CEO of LendInvest), and Charlie Delingpole (Founder & CEO of ComplyAdvantage).

Access to low-interest loans and credit cards is something most people take for granted. Having a respectable credit score, enables you to borrow cheaply and in turn, further improves your credit record. But what happens if you didn’t have a credit history at all? 

Lack of historical credit data is the number-one cause of a low (or no) credit score in the UK and therefore, expensive borrowing. In the UK, there are between 6-8m people who lack enough credible credit data to be considered for traditional borrowing options. Currently, those seeking borrowing would be charged excessive fees for credit that ultimately causes financial problems, rather than solves them. Koyo is looking to change that. 

When Koyo launches later this year it will be the only lender that requires all customers to complete an open banking process as part of the application. This enables Koyo to offer competitively priced credit, without the use of guarantors or hidden fees. Koyo is on a mission to provide loans that are personal and transparent, to those who have little or no options through no fault of their own. 

Thomas Olszewski, Koyo founder, said, “When I moved to the UK from the USA my credit history did not come with me. This made getting a credit card or loan difficult, if not impossible. I realised this is a problem that affected millions of people who are new to the country, but also people who have not built a credit history in the UK more generally. Koyo was built to give people who have historically been taken advantage of, an opportunity to access credit at a competitive rate and build credit history. The opportunity is further evidenced by a seasoned management team which includes Kevin Allen (former CRO of RateSetter) and Guy Evans (former CTO of LendInvest).”

Thomas adds, “While Koyo is based in London, we have global ambitions. Our aim is to expand our product offering in the UK and explore other markets where thin-file customers are underserved”. 

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