Justin Basini shares his thoughts on revenue, paid subscriptions, open banking and how to clearScore with lockdown.
Image source: Justin Basini / ClearScore
Justin Basini is an expert on data, privacy and fintech, so it's no wonder he co-founded ClearScore, an app that lets customers view their credit score for free, and recently scan the dark web for information breaches.
Since launching back in 2015, London-based ClearScore has now been used by customers in South Africa, India, Australia and the UK and has grown to over 13 million users.
AltFi Captured Justin (over video chat) at & # 39; late last week to see how & # 39; ClearScore deals and what's on & # 39; e cards is for the future.
Backwards is a wonderful thing
Almost a year ago, ClearScore's planned acquisition of ClearScore's rival credit provider Experian was cleared and the company went back to "Plan A" and forgot about the opportunities on a sale.
When asked if he would consider a sale or even fundraising in the future, ClearScore CEO Justin Basini told AltFi: "Never say never, but our business is very different from the normal kind of fintech."
"I don't like to be taken in as a fintech, because we & # 39; ve only had around £ 30 million in capital. So when people ask & # 39; Are You Series A? Or Series B? & # 39 ; it is irrelevant to the way we capitalize and how we manage the business, "he added.
ClearScore did not continually raise money to stay afloat, instead requiring it on income generated by the promotion of certain credit cards and deals.
Cut the wallets
Not unlike many companies up and down the country, however, ClearScore feels the coronavirus-related financial bottleneck.
Basini told AltFi: "We have seen a fairly significant reduction in turnover, driven by a withdrawal of credit from the & # 39; the market. There & # 39; s an enormous reinforcement of the withdrawal of credit policy from loan options."
"And given that our business model helps people choose the right credit for them, that becomes quite difficult from an income perspective."
The CEO of ClearScore made sure that the company, although currently experiencing a reduction in revenue, is still doing well: "Fortunately, we have been profitable for a few years. It's not that we burn cash. "
Basini added that because of the ongoing pandemic, ClearScore had to lay off 20 employees, largely from its call centers.
Pay for a premium
With the launch of ClearScore Protect also came the opportunity to move towards offering more paid subscriptions.
ClearScore Protect is currently free, but a £ 2.99 / month version, called ClearScore Protect Realtime, offers a more extensive dive into the dark web to search for passwords and other information.
"I always wanted to do subscriptions, but I didn't want to do it too early," Basini said AltFi.
"The core of ClearScore is built on creating credit results reports for free when & # 39; historical credit bureaus & # 39; s used to charge a lot of money to see their own data."
Basini also added that the company has long been in the interest of its users to roll out more paid services, but that it has historically been unable to pay it.
Like the launch of ClearScore Protect, Basini also plans to release a product that is specifically targeted at essential workers.
"We prioritized some of our long-term bets that we made, but we changed our product roadmap to speed up some of our stuff that we think it will be adopted sooner, "Basini said AltFi.
The team at ClearScore hopes to feature a & # 39; credit for key workers & # 39; so start this week to continue & # 39; delivering credit options to the & # 39; an employment base in the UK that is not at risk of losing their jobs at any time. & # 39;
Like the aforementioned products, Basini also confirmed that ClearScore is putting more effort into open banking.
In the interview last week, Basini said AltFi that he had seen an increase in demand for open banking, especially since the outbreak of Covid-19.
Basini told AltFi: "Creditors need faster, real-time consumer data, because credit reports and scores are often outdated by about two months, sometimes three months, and in today's environment that is too slow."
"For the first time, we're putting a lot more effort into open banking and our lenders and our lenders are starting to be really interested in taking that data," he added.
That, there you have it, ClearScore like all other companies, feels the financial squeeze of coronavirus, but has much more to offer, including a platform specifically for essential workers and paid subscriptions.