Ophelos raises £5million in Seed funding led by AlbionVC to revolutionise the debt collection industry in the UK
Ophelos, the technology firm and pending B-corp using AI to radically rethink the debt resolution process in the UK, has raised its Seed round, totalling £5 million (GBP).
The funding round was led by AlbionVC, which has previously invested in fintechs such as Quantexa and Credit Kudos. Contributions were also made by Vast Ventures, an early investor in Coinbase and Tala, regulatory and public policy experts Form Ventures, as well as existing investors Connect Ventures and Fly Ventures. A group of angel investors – including Matt Robinson (Co-Founder, GoCardless & Nested), James Meekings (Co-Founder, Funding Circle), Jonah and Noah Goodhart (Co-Founders, Moat), and more – also participated.
Launched in 2021 by Amon Ghaiumy, Paul Chong and Professor Qingchen Wang, Ophelos’s client list boasts three of the largest energy retailers in the UK, and fintech brands including Yonder, Plend and Butter. A testament to its ethical and tech-driven approach, Ophelos is significantly outperforming traditional debt collection agencies on debt recovery rates, having seen performance improvements of up to 100%.
The seed round will support Ophelos’ ambitious growth plans, as the company looks to rapidly expand its debt resolution automation platform so it can support more companies and people across the UK. It will also enable Ophelos to double the size of its team in the next year. This will include technical and go-to-market roles, from engineering, product, data and machine learning, to marketing, sales and people functions.
Amon Ghaiumy, CEO and co-founder of Ophelos, says:
“We are incredibly excited to take this next step in Ophelos’ journey. Against one of the most challenging fundraising climates in the past decade, the success of this funding round shows that our approach to transforming the debt resolution process resonates with the best investors in Europe & US. The additional funding will enable us not only to improve our product and expand our services, but also realise our mission to become the new standard for how organisations resolve and manage debt – ethically and technologically.
The past year has seen the cost of living crisis reach almost unbearable levels for millions of people, and debt will inevitably impact a majority of households across the country. With pressure growing on collections departments as a result of increased collections volumes and staff shortages following the pandemic, there is dire need for automation and better use of technology by businesses in this space, rather than on relying on antiquated debt collection agencies. Additionally, customers should feel empowered to resolve their debts without the fear of facing a visit from the bailiff, or other poor debt collection practices.”
Cat McDonald, Investment Manager at AlbionVC, adds:
“Over the last several years, we have seen a fintech consumer revolution and the provision of debt from businesses to consumers has skyrocketed. As a result, many businesses now have the power to choose where the line between good or poor financial health gets drawn for their customers. It is time for businesses to start drawing this line empathically. We are thrilled to be partnering with the Ophelos team as they rebuild the relationship between businesses and consumers.”
Rory Stirling, General Partner at Connect Ventures, comments:
“It’s rare to see a fintech company with such a strong social purpose. We believe Amon, Paul, Qingchen and the Ophelos team are building something that will positively impact the experience of millions of people across the UK, whilst also improving the outcomes for enterprises. The system of debt has been built on the misfortune of financially vulnerable individuals for too long, and we’re confident in Ophelos’ ability to fix it.”
As a pending B-corp, Ophelos is focused on making the debt resolution process fairer and easier for businesses and their customers, combining ethical business approaches with AI technology.
For this reason, the Ophelos debt resolution platform marries machine learning, advanced analytics and digital customer experiences with a human approach based on caring and understanding. It is underpinned by both its smart language analyst, ‘OLIVE’, which helps to identify potentially vulnerable customers in debt through natural language understanding, along with a focus on digital self-service, which allows customers to resolve their debts on their terms. For example, a customer can choose to pay now, later, or over a number of personalised and manageable instalments. This unique focus on personalisation, flexibility and compassion makes it easier for customers to resolve their debts, while providing businesses with a data-driven approach that delivers transformational business results.