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HSBC invests in Singapore’s customer intelligence and risk assessment startup
Orbit Startups Team

HSBC Asset Management, the investment arm of Britain’s HSBC Group, has led a seed round of $4 million in Singapore’s customer intelligence and risk assessment startup Bizbaz, the two said Friday.

Founded in June 2019, Bizbaz offers its proprietary customer intelligence and risk management solutions to banks, insurance companies and fintech startups. The startup has attracted nearly 20 people with backgrounds in behavioral science, health tech, AI and data.

“The problem we’re trying to solve is to empower and enable, whether they are a financial institution, a fintech company or any kind of a B2C company that’s trying to acquire or onboard new customers,” said Hayk Hakobyan, CEO and co-founder of Bizbaz, in an interview with TechCrunch.

In several Asian countries, as high as 80% of the local population does not have credit bureau data and scores to help banks and companies understand their financial position and efficiently underwrite their lending. Bizbaz is attempting to solve this issue by exploring alternative ways to build credit profiles of individuals.

Several firms in Asia are taking a similar approach today, sifting through people’s social media profiles and telco records. Hakobyan said this kind of research requires high accuracy, and some industry practices raise privacy concerns.

In contrast, Bizbaz looks at the available data attributes, including social media profiles and the apps people have installed — and frequently use — on their smartphones. It can also assess someone’s personality and their ability to bear risk by speaking with them for 45 seconds if they don’t have a smartphone, Hakobyan claimed.