From embedded finance to “buy now, pay later” to digital-only banks, FinTech startups have been at the cutting edge of delivering new ways to access money and credit.
One such startup is Uplinq, a team headquartered in Toronto with a strong presence in Atlanta.
The team officially launched in 2022, but the founding team leverages decades of FinTech and entrepreneurial operating experience. As a global credit assessment platform for small business lenders, Uplinq gives small-to-medium-sized business (SMB) lenders the ability to go “beyond traditional credit indicators” to help better assess potential loans.
“Post-Covid small business owners are finding it more difficult than ever to access fair and ethical credit. Most of these small business owners don’t have substantial financial information or have established strong business credit scores that lenders require. Uplinq is able to present highly accurate and predictive data sets to lenders to get them to view today’s SMBs through a completely different lens, in order to turn many no’s into yes’,” Ron Benegbi, CEO and founder of Uplinq, told Hypepotamus.
It is a problem that hits home for Benegbi. “As an immigrant to Canada in the 1970’s, I watched my parents struggle to make a living as small business owners. We were very fortunate that one bank manager took a ‘flyer’ on my dad when he applied for a loan, even though he made it clear that the application did not meet the bank’s lending criteria. Most small business owners are not nearly as fortunate as this, which is why I started Uplinq,” he said in a statement.
The company said its technology has powered over $1.4 trillion in underwritten loans since its inception. The team has helped places like Chase and Citibank turn negative ROA portfolios into profitable ones.
The “brains” behind Uplinq is co-founder and Atlanta resident Patrick Reily. He had a 30-year financial services career, worked as Chief Marketing Officer at JP Morgan Chase & Co, and was a VP at Equifax prior to jumping into the entrepreneurial world.
Benegbi and Reily have been connected in the business world for the last fifteen years.
“I was told ‘there’s a guy in Atlanta doing some things in small business lending that nobody in the world is doing, you’ve got to meet him. I think you guys will have a lot to talk about’. I was intrigued and very curious and within the first few minutes of my conversation with Pat I knew something was there,” Beneghi told Hypepotamus.
Atlanta is also home to Will Whiteside, the startup’s Head of Applied Mathematics and Modeling, and Joel Reily, Director of Customer Experience.
The team is starting off Q2 2022 with a $3.5 million pre-seed round from N49P and Surface Ventures. MoVi Partners, Impulsum Ventures, Magic Fund, Assure Syndicates, the DVC Syndicate, and several “notable Fintech executives.”
The funding will go towards building out Uplinq’s global operations.