Ophelos raises £5m for AI-powered debt resolution

Alternative loans

The company said its AI-powered technology will help consumers and businesses avoid bad debts.

Image source: Ophelia.

Ophelos, a UK tech company that claims to use AI to improve the debt settlement process, has raised £5m in seed funding.

The round was led by UK venture capital firm Albion Capital and included participation from Vast Ventures and Form Ventures, as well as existing investors and angel investors.

The company said its intelligent language analyst, ‘OLIVE’, helps identify potentially vulnerable indebted customers through natural language understanding, which, along with its digital self-service capabilities, enables customers to settle their debts. on their terms.

The funding comes as the cost of living crisis appears to be pushing UK consumers further into dangerous borrowing.

Credit card borrowing is rising at its fastest annual rate in 17 years, the Bank of England warned in May.

The annual growth rate of credit card borrowing reached 11.6% in April, the highest figure since November 2005.

After being launched in 2021 by Amon Ghaiumy, Paul Chong and Professor Qinchen Wang, Ophelos said its customer list includes “three of the UK’s largest energy retailers”.

Additionally, Orpheus claims that it significantly outperforms traditional debt collection agencies in collection rates, having recorded performance improvements of up to 100%.

Ophelos said it would use the capital to fund its global growth plans to expand its automation platform across the UK and double the size of its team over the next year.

With the looming threat of bad consumer debt, ethical lending is increasingly becoming a point of focus for the wider fintech industry.

Revolut says its new BNPL product, ‘Pay Later’, will have built-in safeguards to ensure users can afford their limit and offers a ‘more robust assessment’ than competitors as it approves the credit limit before the transaction. rather than at the time. of sale.

Amon Ghaiumy, CEO and co-founder of Ophelos, said debt will “inevitably impact” most UK households.

“With increasing pressure on collection services due to increased collection volumes and staff shortages as a result of the pandemic, there is an urgent need for automation and better use of technology. by businesses in this space, rather than relying on outdated collection agencies,” Ghaiumy said.

Cat McDonald, chief investment officer at Albion Capital, said fintech’s “consumer revolution” has led to soaring corporate consumer debt, but companies now have the power to choose where ” the line between good and bad financial health is drawn”. for their customers.

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