Apple buys UK fintech start-up Credit Kudos

LONDON — Apple has acquired the first Credit Kudos from British fintech, according to people familiar with the matter.

The deal was finalized earlier this week, people said, wanting to remain anonymous in the market information discussion. The deal will cost Credit Kudos $ 150 million, it said.

News first reported from a crypto-focused issue of the release of The Block.

An Apple spokesman said the US giant “buys small tech companies from time to time, and we often don’t discuss our mission or plans.” Credit Kudos was not available for comment.

Based in London, Credit Kudos is developing software that uses customer banking data to generate additional credit information on credit applications. It competes with major credit bureaus, including Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

This deal could be detrimental to other Credit Kudos customers, including fintech firms Curve and Fronted in London.

Open banking

Credit Kudos has been in negotiations for a sale since early September, one of the people said.

The company operates in a recent fintech state known as “open banking,” where third-party companies securely connect to private bank accounts to obtain information and pay for it unless they are authorized to do so.

These practices have gained momentum in Europe in recent years due to the fintech-friendly regulations introduced in 2018, which aim to increase competition in the waging industry. It aroused great investor interest, with the Silicon Valley Plaid startup valued at $ 13 billion in cash flow last year.

Plaid previously agreed to buy Visa but abandoned the plan after a lawsuit filed by the U.S. government. Visa then took over Tink, a Swedish company competing with Plaid, for $ 2.1 billion.

Finance push

It is unclear what Apple has planned for Credit Kudos. The company has made significant strides in financial services over the years with Apple Pay and Apple Card, a credit card the company has launched in partnership with Goldman Sachs in the United States.

Debt Kudos, which last received trade finance in early 2020, has so far raised $ 7.8 million, according to Crunchbase data. The company lost $ 4.5 billion ($ 5.9 million) in its fiscal year 2020, double the £ 2.2 million lost in 2019, according to Companies House.

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