Flowcast’s credit scoring product Tillful enables SMB credit access

Tillful's new credit scoring model leverages transaction-level data including cash flow and payment history

Small and medium companies can now gain easier and faster access to credit scores for loans via Tillful, a platform provided by San Francisco-based Flowcast.

Founded in 2020, the platform offers free and quicker transparent credit scores for small and medium companies that are often overlooked by larger banks and financial institutions, said Flowcast CEO Ken So.

Flowcast is a provider of AI credit risk models and Tillful utilizes the company’s proprietary machine learning option to create a new credit scoring model that has been “validated” with real-world data in partnership with other financial institutions. 

“Historically, banks and financial institutions have proportionally lent far more money to large companies than to small and medium businesses for reasons such as generally smaller loan size and underwriting challenges – SMB lending is harder and less profitable,” he said.

Small and medium businesses employ almost 50% of the American workforce and have faced more challenges during the coronavirus pandemic, but their recovery is critical to helping the economy grow out of the pandemic recession, So said.

Tillful provides free credit analysis that is updated daily, a dashboard of all linked business accounts that provides a complete assessment of a company’s financial health, actionable personalized recommendations to improve a company’s credit profile and access to qualified financing offers based on Tillful’s free credit analysis, he said.

In 2015, Flowcast was founded based on the premise that “there is a better way to assess and manage credit risk,” So said. 

“The company leverages its patented machine learning methodologies to create predictive models for financial institutions that assess risk and enable lenders to automatically optimize credit offerings and continually manage changing risk within their portfolio,” he said. “With Tillful, the company provides fast, free, and transparent credit scores to small and medium-sized businesses and then uses those scores to pre-approve applicants for credit services through Tillful partners.”

Since traditional credit bureaus rely heavily on third-party data, including credit utilization and trade references, the data is often incomplete, inaccurate and quite out of date, So said. 

“One key component of the data used by Tillful is transaction-level financial information from the company in question, which clearly shows its cash flow and payment history in both volume and consistency,” he said. “This tells a far more detailed, current and complete story about the financial strength of the company in question.”

Tillful has 15 lenders and credit card providers that are live on the platform and another 10 are expected to be added in Q1 2021.

Business credit scores are often the “very first” criteria that a lender examines before deciding to underwrite a loan, So said. A business credit score could also determine business insurance rates. 

“Once a lending institution has decided to extend an offer to you, your credit score influences the amount of a loan, the interest rate and the duration of the loan,” he said. 

Flowcast has raised over $7 million from investors such as ING Ventures, BitRock Capital and Katalyst Ventures.

Small business banking has been front and center over the last twelve months as businesses have struggled to navigate COVID-19 and related shutdowns. In October, BlueVine made headlines when the company rolled out a small business banking product and partnered with Plaid. Additionally, the Paycheck Protection Program has be recognized as an unprecedented opportunity for banks to grow business banking relationships.

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