Indonesian credit bureaus currently have about 92 million credit files, but the founders of SkorLife say many people struggle to access their own data. That’s why they created the app, which not only lets people see their credit history for free, but also gives personalized advice on how to improve the data. The Jakarta-based startup announced today that it has raised $2.2 million in pre-seed funding.
AC Ventures participated in the round, which also included Saison Capital and angel investors like all the founders of OneCard; Advance.ai’s Jefferson Chan; Will Arifin of KoinWorks of KoinWorks; Lummo’s Krishnan Menon; Arip Tirta of Evermos of Evermos; Harshet Lunani from Qoala; Willy Arifin of Init-6; Lummo’s Krishnan Menon; Arip Tirta of Evermos; Harshet Lunani from Qoala; Achmad Zaky of Init-6; and executives from Northstar Group, Stripe, Google, Boston Consulting Group, Gojek and CreditKarma.
SkorLife claims that the private alpha version of its app has been downloaded over 3,000 times and is growing organically by 50-60 new users per day. This exceeds its internal target of 7x and the app will soon be available for public download. The company’s new funding will be used for product development, new hires and marketing. SkorLife currently has 10 employees and plans to increase the headcount to 40.
CEO Ongki Kurniawan was previously Country Director of Stripe Indonesia and has also held senior roles at Grab, telcoXL Axiata and Line, while COO Karan Khetan is a serial entrepreneur whose latest startups include 5x and BookMyShow Southeast Asia. East. The two met in 2018 when Grab set up a partnership with BookMyShow to offer ticketing services through Grab’s super app.
Kurniawan tells TechCrunch that the two spent a lot of time exploring different ideas. The first was to digitize the “pawnbroker”/secured lending industry, but the unit economics did not work.
“However, we have found that many Indonesians resort to pawning their property because they think they will be rejected if they go to banks,” he said, adding that seven out of 10 loan applicants are actually rejected. “This was validated after speaking with a number of industry experts. We learned that the borrowing pool of Indonesian consumers is small.
During their research, Kurniawan and Khetan also found that many Indonesians do not have access to their credit scores and other data that would help them see how banks determine their creditworthiness, meaning they lose the opportunity to access affordable loans.
The founders of SkorLife say creditworthiness is underused in Indonesia, where most financial institutions assess a person’s ability to obtain lines of credit based on their “financial creditworthiness”.
“The thing to remember is that not everyone with high income will pay their debt and everyone with low income will not pay their debt,” Kurniawan said.
Kurniawan said most Indonesians don’t know they can access their own credit history and credit ratings, and believe that only financial institutions and banks have access to this information.
If they figure out how to access it, they have two options. The first is the free route, where they request data from the OJK (Indonesian Financial Services Authority). But the problem with this is that they either have to go to an OJK office or wait days for an appointment online. The second paid route involves customers visiting three accredited credit bureaus in Indonesia to obtain their credit reports. But these reports cost money, and Kurniawan says they are several pages long “and are not designed to be digested by consumers as they are intended for use by analysts at financial institutions.”
SkorLife solves these problems by giving people free access to credit scores they would otherwise have to jump through hoops to get. Its main product is a credit-building app that allows people to instantly view and monitor their credit scores, credit reports, and other credit bureau data, for free. It also helps users dispute inaccurate information on their credit reports. If someone doesn’t have a credit history yet, the app will help them start building scores.
Through the app, customers can view their BI Check Score, or nationally recognized credit information that is used by almost all financial institutions to make credit decisions, as well as their credit score, which is generated by the credit bureaus to determine the possibility of someone defaulting on a loan within the next 12 months.
They also see what factors go into their credit score, including their payment history, credit usage, balance against their secured credit accounts versus unsecured credit accounts, the age of each of their credit accounts, identity monitoring to see if a financial institution is doing a hard check on their data, the total number of credit accounts they have, active and inactive, and outstanding balances.
This data is then used to create personalized AI-powered insights for each customer that they can use to improve their credit scores. The app also offers educational content and features that make it easy for customers to dispute inaccurate data.
Some examples of information include payment history and the ability for customers to check billing dates and set reminders, credit age (or encouraging customers not to close a long-open card ) and the use. SkorLife recommends that customers keep credit card limit usage below 30% to improve their score.
In a statement, AC Ventures Founder and Managing Partner Adrian Li said, “The opportunity in Indonesia is huge. Even though the space is relatively untapped, the size of the consumer credit market is already north of US$185 billion. That said, it has always been a challenge here because lenders have never been able to draw holistic conclusions about borrowers based on limited and fragmented information. But with these treasures of data just waiting to be unlocked and put to meaningful use in a consumer-facing app, we’re excited about SkorLife’s vision and mission to put people back in control of their financial future.