Our Investment in Lumu, a Cybersecurity Company
I'm pleased to announce our investment in Lumu. Panoramic Fund (BIP Ventures) and SoftBank Group Corp's SB Opportunity Fund are co-leading the $7.5 million.
For the first Startup Showdown winner Swipe Credit it's full speed ahead at the one-year mark.
It's hard to believe Startup Showdown, our monthly pitch competition for early-stage startups everywhere, has been tearing things up for a year now. Since June 2021, 12 innovative startups have collectively been awarded $1.4 million in investment prizes through virtual events and in-person competitions in vibrant tech cities like Atlanta, Miami, and Austin!
To commemorate Startup Showdown's one-year anniversary, we thought it would be interesting to bring you up to date with our very first Startup Showdown winner, Swipe Credit.
Swipe Credit is a revenue-accelerating risk and compliance solution that helps consumer and small-business lenders grow faster and wiser with financial inclusion behavior intelligence. According to a study by Citi Bank, lenders lose eight hundred billion dollars annually due to unconscious bias in the loan-vetting process. Swipe Credit's mission is to change this by making it easy for lenders to find, acquire, and build profitable relationships with an audience of over 50 million underserved consumers and 30 million small businesses.
Kevin Mobolade, CEO of Swipe Credit, founded the company as a first-generation American who witnessed his entrepreneur-immigrant parents be invisible to financial lenders despite decades of paying their bills in full and on time. Each easily paid $2,000 monthly in rent for their store spaces but never received corresponding boosts in their credit scores that reflected their fiscal responsibility. Inspired by their experience, Mobolade used his degrees in computer science and business, as well as his background working as an engineer in the lending industry, to address the problem by creating a platform to identify good payers like his parents to help uncover new, low-risk opportunities for lenders.
BIP Ventures isn't the only one that has taken notice of Swipe Credit's potential — the company was recently named as one of 22 "Startups to Watch" by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution! Swipe Credit has also received coverage in Market Watch, Digital Journal, and CBS News.
Since winning the first-ever Startup Showdown pitch competition, Swipe Credit also graduated from the highly selective 2021 Techstars + Western Union Accelerator and received a grant from Google's Black Founders Fund. With technology development completed, Swipe Credit's current focus is on building top-of-funnel awareness and acquiring enterprise customers, with the first three — two top 10 banks and a large wealth management company — currently being onboarded. (Look for these key customer announcements soon.)
Mobolade said these customers are a great validation that Swipe Credit is headed in the right market direction. We couldn't agree more! He also reiterated his gratitude for his Startup Showdown win and the BIP Ventures Founder Success Program, adding that the team has been immensely helpful post-event with networking, marketing guidance and other advice, preparation for a seed-funding round, and even promotional support. We can't wait to see what incredible milestones Swipe Credit achieves next.
Here's to another year of Startup Showdown pitch winner successes! Is your startup next for the spotlight? Our pitch competitions are held monthly, with winners receiving a $120,000 investment prize. To apply to pitch at an upcoming Startup Showdown, go here.
Did you know Startup Showdown has a podcast that gives a behind-the-scenes look at raising capital — from both sides of the table? Take your startup to the next level by listening to our Startup Showdown Podcast featuring interviews with pitch-competition winners, mentors and advisors, and guest-investor judges. There are 12 podcasts so far, so listen to them all! If you want to hear even more about Kevin Mobolade and Swipe Credit's entrepreneurial journey, his podcast interview can be found here — it's currently our most listened-to episode!