Credit data giant Experian to buy 2-year old fintech startup ClearScore for $383.8 million
Who said you have to wait forever to flip your startup? ClearScore is one of the leading fintech businesses in the UK with special focus on millennials. In a blog post on its website, ClearScore announced that the company has agreed to be acquired by Experian. This acquisition still has to be approved by the authorities which they expect to happen later this year. The acquisition is a clear sign that Experian wants to capture the UK and international market and also go after the millennials, who find ClearScore’s free credit report attractive. ClearScore is currently the number one credit checking service in the UK.
Founded by Dan Cobley, Justin Basini and Nigel Morris, ClearScore was launched by in 2015 to help people make better financial decisions, starting with free access to their credit score and report, all for free. The startup provides a platform for users to handle everything to do with credit in one place. From checking credit report and score to learning how to manage customers’ money, they are constantly innovating to make their offering as clear and beautiful as possible. In just three years, ClearScore has enrolled over 6 million members in the UK through its free membership model. They have also started a global journey and now serve over 300,000 South Africans. The UK market is large and is growing rapidly. Spend is also shifting rapidly to online channels as a more accessible and effective way to present offers to people seeking credit. Experian is uniquely placed for this evolution, with its best-in-class data, scores and analytics, which are used to determine a consumer’s eligibility and ability to afford a loan.
In a separate company release, Brian Cassin, Chief Executive Officer of Experian said: “In acquiring ClearScore, we will take another important step in our strategy to extend the services we provide to UK consumers. Our goal is to provide more choice and greater convenience to individuals who want access to personal financial products at the best prices, while also making it easier for credit providers to offer better, more tailored offers to consumers. We look forward to welcoming the ClearScore team to Experian and to including the ClearScore brand as part of our broader offer.”
With the acquisition, ClearScore would benefit from Experian’s broad data assets, analytical capabilities and distribution, while Experian will benefit from ClearScore’s skill in developing services which are appealing and easy to use, as well as an agile culture accomplished at keeping its membership engaged. In addition, ClearScore will help to accelerate Experian’s ambitions to provide services to consumers internationally, having recently launched a service in South Africa.
“I believe that this acquisition will allow us to grow faster and develop exciting new innovations that will deliver improved financial well-being to you, our current users, in the UK and South Africa, and hopefully millions more around the world,” Justin Basini, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer (CEO), said. Charles Butterworth, Managing Director, Experian UK&I & EMEA, also said: “We’re delighted to be announcing this proposed acquisition. It’s Experian’s goal to deliver the best choice of services to consumers to help them plan and better manage their financial lives. Bringing ClearScore into the Experian family is an important step on that journey, allowing us to share knowledge and insight between the two organisations and bring new scale and support to ClearScore’s existing business. We’re excited to combine the experience and strength of Experian’s global organisation with those of a successful and rapidly scaling business. And together, we’ll be able to deliver a broader range of products and services that will further improve consumer choice in the UK and beyond.”