Kreditech, the leading technology group for digital consumer lending using machine-learning based underwriting, has experienced a successful financial year in 2017 and has announced its plans for 2018. As part of its strategy, Kreditech will focus to expand its business via Lending-as-a-Service, prepare its organization and technology for the next stage of growth and take a clear step forward towards profitability. At the same time, Kreditech also announced two senior management changes for 2018.
Kreditech experienced strong growth in 2017
Serving more than 780.000 customers by the end of 2017, Kreditech’s customer base has more than doubled compared to 2016. Loan originations and revenue are up by almost 50% against the prior year – a key driver being its newly established Lending-as-a-Service business.
Given continued investments into growth and strategic expansion of the business, Kreditech is estimating a preliminary net loss of about 55m EUR for 2017 (compared to a net loss of 59m in 2016).
“We are proud of our achievements in 2017, having surpassed all our financial targets.”, states Alexander Graubner-Müller, CEO and founder of Kreditech.
Increase focus and profitability for 2018
In 2018, Kreditech will take the next decisive step towards profitability and is aiming for an operational break-even in each of its existing markets, i.e. Poland, Russia and Spain, by the end of 2018. At group level, Kreditech will continue to invest into areas of strategic interest – such as the expansion into new markets, especially in the context of the partnership with Naspers / PayU, as well as the establishment of new partnerships for its Lending-as-a-Service Business. Past financing rounds such as the investment by PayU / Naspers last year have made sure that Kreditech’s business plan is well-funded.
A key milestone for 2018 will be to successfully establish Kreditech’s business model in India in collaboration with PayU. “India has a population of 1.3 billion people. However, less than 29 million have a credit card”, explains Alexander Graubner-Müller. “We assume that there are approximately 600 million Indians who have access to online services. However, many of them have not yet been able to make use of financial services. Servicing this target group will provide Kreditech with enormous growth potential.”
Besides India, the company also plans to accelerate profitability in its direct business in Poland, Spain and Russia. As part of this enhanced focus, Kreditech, has decided to discontinue its current product offering in Mexico.
Internally, Kreditech is driving several changes to prepare the organization for its next stage of development. Among other things, Kreditech is planning to establish more empowered country teams and significantly advance its technology platform.
Changes in the core leadership team
Kreditech has announced two changes in its core leadership team.
After more than four and a half years during which René Griemens was very successful as CFO for Kreditech, the experienced financial market expert will leave the company this summer. Given the growing demand of regulated financial services to the CFO at Kreditech, his decision is driven to return to his passion: the development of technology startups. Until the new CFO is found, Griemens will continue to fully support Kreditech in his role.
“René has been an elementary member of our management team in recent years”, states Alexander Graubner-Müller. “I very much regret his departure and would like to thank him once again for his first-class work over the last four and a half years. I’m convinced that together with René we’ll find a suitable successor for the position of CFO.”
CPIO Michal Panowitz is leaving on January 31st. He joined the company in 2016 with the vision of transforming Kreditech into a digital bank. Given the company’s strategic decision to focus on its core consumer lending business, Michal supported Kreditech in onboarding his successor and will focus on new challenges. His successor in the role of CTO has already been appointed: Todd Simmermann will take over his duties on February 1.
Kreditech Group’s mission is to improve financial freedom for the underbanked with the use of technology. Combining non-traditional data sources and machine learning, the company is aiming to provide access to better credit and a higher convenience for digital banking services. The product offerings include consumer loans, a digital wallet and a personal finance manager designed to help customers manage their credit score and plan their spending. Kreditech also offers a “Lending as a Service” model, allowing partners to integrate Kreditech’s credit products via an API into their own platform and services.
Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, Kreditech covers more than 5 markets worldwide, amongst others Russia, Mexico, Spain and Poland. Up until now, the company has processed more than four million loan applications through its subsidiaries. Kreditech’s team of more than 387 people is led by CEO and Co-Founder Alexander Graubner-Müller and is financially backed by world-class investors including PayU, J.C. Flowers, Peter Thiel, and the World Bank’s IFC.
Source: Kreditech Press Release