Early this month, Accion a leader in financial inclusion, announced two investments in RevolutionCredit and StreetShares , through Accion Venture Lab, a $10 million initiative dedicated to providing seed capital and management support to financial inclusion start-ups.
Accion Venture Lab Investments 2014
Launched in 2012 and based in Irvine, California, RevolutionCredit was born out of a vision to lead the next generation of consumer credit assessment ̶ positive-selection oriented, consumer-centric and consumer-controlled.
The first-of-its-kind solution uses behavioral analytics derived from gamified financial education, delivered at the point of transaction. This provides a complement to traditional and non-traditional credit scores provided by credit bureaus such as Experian.
RevolutionCredit’s program is like ‘traffic school’ for credit, allowing customers to swap enhanced education for a minor mistake or earn class ‘extra credit’, providing an opportunity to demonstrate positive behavior outside of the formal financial system.
Consumers voluntarily choose to complete video and game-based financial capability tutorials and tests offered to them by their financial provider. The consumer’s participation and response to RevolutionCredit’s tutorials and tests is made available to the financial provider to help assess credit-worthiness or fitness for products and services.
StreetShares was founded last year by Rockefeller, a former Wall Street lawyer and Iraq War veteran, and Mickey Konson, the former head of credit for Capital One’s national Small Business unit. Konson, who also worked at McKinsey & Co., serves StreetShares as Chief Operating Officer. Rockefeller and Konson teamed with long-time DC-area software engineer and entrepreneur, Ben Shiflet, who serves as the company’s Chief Technology Officer.
The StreetShares team has built a socially-oriented online lending platform, with the goal of serving a critical but underserved segment: veteran-owned small businesses. One in nine small businesses in America is veteran-owned. Military veterans face unique challenges in building credit, due to military deployment schedules and the rigors of military service.