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AI to resolve debt crisis: London-based Ophelos raises £5M led by AlbionVC

Ophelos founders
Image credits: Ophelos

London-based Ophelos that uses AI to resolve the existing debt crisis in the UK has raised £5 million in seed funding. The round was led by AlbionVC (which backed Speechmatics and RegGenome).

The round also saw participation from 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 others contributed.

Ambitious plans ahead

Ophelos will use the funds to back its 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.

Further, it will enable the fintech startup to double the size of its team in 2023. It will hire talent across engineering, product, data and machine learning, to marketing and sales teams.

Amon Ghaiumy, CEO and co-founder of Ophelos, said, “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.”

Cat McDonald, Investment Manager at AlbionVC, added, “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, commented, “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.”

AI for fairer debt resolution

Founded in 2021 by Amon Ghaiumy, Paul Chong and Professor Qingchen Wang, Ophelos, a pending B-corp is focused on making the debt resolution process fairer and easier for businesses and their customers, combining ethical business approaches with AI technology.

Its debt resolution platform merges 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.

As a testament to its ethical and tech-driven approach, Ophelos is significantly outperforming traditional debt collection agencies on debt recovery rates, and has witnessed performance improvements of up to 100%.

Ophelos’s clientele boasts three of the largest energy retailers in the UK, and fintech brands, including Yonder, Plend and Butter.

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