In a deal finalized earlier this week, Apple has acquired Credit Kudos, a financial-tech (finch) start-up that is valued at about $150 million and based in the UK, reports CNBC. While the deal was first reported in the media by The Block, those close to the matter preferred to remain anonymous, and both Credit Kudos and Apple preferred not to discuss the deal on record.
Credit Kudos is in the business of challenging bigger credit reporting agencies such as Experian and Equifax with software that makes better informed credit checks on loan applications by utilizing consumers’ banking information, CNBC details. They operate in the fintech niche called “open banking,” where consumers consent to have a third-party firm establish a secure link to clients’ bank accounts and then make payments on their behalf. The practice has flourished in Europe since 2018, when fintech-friendly regulations increased competition in the payments sector. Since then, investors have taken notice, and open-banking companies have generated much interest. Plaid, an open-banking start-up based in Silicon Valley, was valued at $13.4 billion last year after it was nearly acquired by Visa (a deal stopped by an antitrust lawsuit from the U.S. government), and Visa went on to acquire Tink, a Swedish-based competitor of Plaid’s, for $2.1 billion.
But what Apple plans to do with Credit Kudos remains unclear. The tech giant has advanced its financial services significantly over the last several years with endeavors such as Apple Pay and the Apple Card. For its part, Credit Kudos has raised roughly $10.3 million to date, but last received funding at the beginning of 2020 and racked up losses of $5.9 million that same year, CNBC reports.