Apple acquires UK fintech startup Credit Kudos

The open banking startup becomes the latest European fintech company to be acquired by a US company.

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Apple is acquiring the UK-based fintech startup Credit Kudos for an undisclosed amount, as Apple typically doesn’t disclose the price of its acquisitions. Credit Kudos last raised £5 million ($6.5 million) in funding back in April 2020.

Neither Credit Kudos or Apple could be reached to confirm the deal, which was first reported by the crypto-focused publication The Block, citing three sources close to the deal. The privacy policy link on the Credit Kudos website currently redirects to Apple’s privacy policy.

Credit Kudos is a challenger credit bureau founded in 2015 by Freddy Kelly and Matt Schofield after Kelly struggled to get credit upon returning to the UK after working overseas in the US. It uses machine learning and real-time data to build up a fuller picture of a person’s credit score, rather than traditional agencies, like Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, which typically rely on older information to build up a profile, such as bank statements and utility statements.

The open banking opportunity

The firm has also benefitted from the recent wave of open banking regulations across the globe, which aim to open up consumer financial data via a set of secure application programming interfaces (APIs). Credit Kudos provides this data to clients for services such as affordability and risk assessments.

In the USA, where open banking regulations have not yet been formally implemented, banks do not have a consistent set of APIs to work from, making companies that can provide access to this data highly valuable.

As a result, open banking startups have been attracting plenty of M&A attention over the past few years. In January 2021 Visa called off its acquisition of the San Francisco-based financial data specialist Plaid, before turning its attention to the Swedish open banking firm Tink later that year. Elsewhere, Mastercard announced it was expanding its fintech capabilities by acquiring the Danish open banking startup Aiia in September of 2021.

It is unclear at this stage what Apple plans to do with Credit Kudos, but it has invested significantly in its fintech capabilities over recent years, in particular its mobile Apple Pay wallet, and its Apple Card credit card, which is currently only available in the US and was built in partnership with Goldman Sachs.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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