Richard Eldridge of Lenddo, a SaaS company that provides financial institutions with Identity Verification and Credit Scoring technology using non-traditional data such as social media and smartphone records, information that can be highly predictive of people’s willingness and ability to repay a loan, became the 11th Philippine-based high-impact entrepreneur selected at Endeavor’s 74th International Selection Panel (ISP) held September 11-13, 2017, in Brooklyn, New York.
Native of a small farming town in Wales, CEO and Co-founder Richard Eldridge has called the Philippines his home for the past decade. After graduating with a BSc in Management Sciences from Warwick University, Richard joined Renoir Consulting as a Management Consultant where he worked in 8 countries across business functions and industries. He then moved to the Philippines to join an ex-client in Motivation Asia, a loyalty and an incentives marketing company. There, he was instrumental in restructuring the company and spun-off Summersault, a BPO company. After selling Summersault, Richard launched his own BPO company – Infinit. As a business owner in the fast evolving market, he observed that his employees would frequently ask him for money, which he would then deduct from their paycheck at the end of the month. He learned that low and middle income individuals without collateral either had no access to credit or had to pay high interest rates to loan sharks. In 2010, he discussed this phenomenon with Jeff Stewart, a serial entrepreneur, and one of his clients and together they launched Lenddo in 2011 to promote financial inclusion in the Philippines.
The two entrepreneurs brought Naveen Agnohotri, a PhD in Neuroscience from Columbia University, on board as the Chief Data Scientist, to build a predictive algorithm that would help measure the creditworthiness of their borrowers using non-traditional data. Within a year, Lenddo had received hundreds of thousands of loan applications, which demonstrated that people were prepared to share their personal digital data for credit access. With headquarters in Manila and a tech team in New York City, the company quickly expanded to Colombia and Mexico. The same year, it raised the Philippines’ largest ever series A from Accel Capital, Blumberg Capital, Omidyar Network, iNovia and Metamorphic Partners with an additional $6 million follow-on funding from Kickstart Ventures, Golden Gate Ventures and Skype Co-Founder, Toivo Annus. In January 2015, the founders made a strategic decision to divest their lending operations and focus entirely on licensing its technology to collect and analyze data for financial institutions.
Today, Lenddo is a B2B business that offers its technology to financial institutions in emerging economies with high social media and mobile penetration rates, limited access to financial services and limited credit bureau coverage. Lenddo’s patented technology analyzes potential borrowers’ digital footprint—social networks, messages, tagged photos, browsing, search and geo-spatial data—for credit scoring and identity verification. Conceptualized in the Philippines in 2011, Lenddo has grown its operational presence quickly to Mexico, Colombia, South Korea, India, Singapore and the US and is committed to transforming the lives of 1 billion individuals by 2020.
Lenddo successfully passed the rigorous Endeavor multi-step selection process to identify innovative and driven entrepreneurs who are committed to advancing an ecosystem of entrepreneurship. This begins with multiple mentor feedback sessions that lead to a Local Selection Panel in which Endeavor Philippines board and mentor panelists deliberate on the entrepreneur and business, and culminates in the International Selection Panel, where network members gather for 3 days of networking, pitching, and deliberating. Panelists at the event included top business leaders and investors drawn from Endeavor’s global network of board members, mentors, and supporters. Richard was unanimously selected to be an official Endeavor Entrepreneur.
“I am very honored for Lenddo to have been selected by Endeavor as one of the high-impact entrepreneurial companies” Eldridge said. “Thanks for the support from the great mentors, entrepreneurs and everyone at Endeavor from around the world. We have been given a unique opportunity to scale and achieve our goals of financial inclusion for millions around the world. We look forward to being part of the Endeavor network and contributing to its success” he further concluded.
Managing Director of Endeavor Philippines Manny Ayala added, “Richard is a high-impact entrepreneur and key figure in the global FinTech ecosystem. We are excited to accelerate Lenddo as it is currently in a stage of hyper-growth and support its mission to not only move the needle for the “credit invisible” in emerging markets, but also provide economic opportunities to large financial institutions.”