Fintech CEO Pitch: We Challenged Turnkey Lender with 8 Questionsby Fintechnews Singapore June 21, 2019
We recently interviewed Dmitry Voronenko, the CEO and Founder of Turnkey Lender, a Singapore based Lending Software provider.
This is our first ever Fintech CEO Pitch series. A challenge for Fintech CEOs who think they have what it takes to survive a series of rapid-fire, hard-hitting questions. If you are also a fintech CEO and are interested in participating with your startup or solution, reach out to us.
What inspired you to start this company?
In my work, I’ve been focused on neural networks and financial services automation for quite some time. I led multiple research teams which worked on projects for such titans of the financial world as the World Bank, Daimler Financial Services, Société Générale, Citibank, and many others.
We provided software and model development services to Fortune 500 companies like Microsoft, Boeing Satellite Systems, Pfizer, LG, Sumitomo Industries, and others. And at some point me and my co-founder, Elena Ionenko, saw a glaring gap in a high-volume market.
We’ve noticed that the alternative lending niche is in a desperate need of an all-in-one turnkey solution which would automate the entire lending process while keeping the loan issuing risks at bay using new credit risk analysis approaches.We were in a unique position to fill that gap thanks to our experience and the wide-spread network of connections with skilled professionals who could help us turn our idea into reality. We knew what lending operations need and we had the tools to solve their problems.
As a Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence, I understood that the future of lending will rely heavily on deep neural networks and machine learning so from the getgo we’ve implemented these technologies into our scoring engine and have been improving the applications of this tech in our tools ever since. As of now, five years in, we offer the most advanced, intuitive and wholesome lending automation solution on the market.
“Deep neural networks which take credit decisions”
What problems do you solve, and how are you doing it better than the offerings available in the market (whether by banks or other fintech companies)?
The key problem our software solves is it makes intelligent lending automation accessible and affordable for small to mid-size lenders. Previously, only heavyweight banks could afford a platform of this scale and it would take months if not years to deploy. We reduce operational costs, minimize risks, and increase returns for lenders.
Ours is the first lending automation company that offers bank-grade software of this scale and sophistication which at the same time is that accessible and affordable. We provide a unique combination of quality, all-in-one nature of our platform, advanced functionality, and deep neural networks which take credit decisions to the whole new level of safety. Our tools drastically lower the lending niche entry barrier stimulating business development and helping make fair lending globally a reality.
Describe your service/solution in one sentence?
TurnKey Lender offers an intelligent all-in-one bank-grade platform which automates the entire lending process including decision making and risk mitigation.
How do you finance your venture?
In the beginning, Elena and I have funded the company ourselves. But as our client base and revenue streams began to grow, investors started to get interested. Over the years, TurnKey Lender has raised 3 major rounds of funding from extremely reputable investors who are very selective with the projects they back.
This lets us fuel our global expansion into the new markets and target audiences. At the same time, our client base is constantly growing since we do provide superior solutions to digital lenders willing to increase the efficiency of their operations.
80 People in the Team, “We are Hiring!
Tell us about your team?
We’re still a rather small team and we make each hiring decision very carefully. Over the years of meticulous search, we’ve managed to gather some of the best engineering, analytical and managerial talent on our team. We were incredibly lucky to find the right people who share the same values as Elena and I and who believed in our leadership and vision early on.
Thanks to our team, in just 5 years we have managed to build an award-winning platform which is known, recognized, and recommended.
Right now there are over 80 people on our teams spread across our offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Ukraine, Indonesia, Philippines, US and Belgium and we keep growing our staff constantly. We are all driven and motivated by a single idea of democratizing lending worldwide both for lenders and borrowers.
What is your view about where the market is right now, where it’s headed and what it takes to get there?
Right now we’re going through the wave of a global transformation of lending. Traditional banks will need to adjust and the competition between them and alternative lenders will continue to grow. The next big thing in lending will be in-house financing. As platforms like TurnKey Lender evolve, it will get even easier to offer credit products at the point of sale. The alternative lending trend in all its forms will continue to develop globally, and each year more people will get to have access to quality credit products at fair prices. And we take pride in our mission to help make this a reality.
The thing about the whole FinTech space right now is that it’s evolving with mind-boggling speed. And you either keep up with the pace to provide the most innovative and easy-to-use solutions, or you’re left behind. At TurnKey Lender we invest heavily in R&D to secure our leading positions in terms of technology and accessibility. We continually improve our machine learning algorithms and research new ways to evaluate borrowers, mitigate risks, and automate every part of the lending process even further.
For example, just this year we’ve launched TurnKey Lender Psychometrics, an app that uses our best-in-class analytics and digitized psychological evaluation of users to assess potential borrowers in cases where there’s no access to their credit history or bank accounts. Another example is specialized factoring and invoice financing solution that uses deep neural networks for bank statement data analysis giving the possibility to SMEs without credit bureau history to access loans and thus improving lives and economies around the world. In a nutshell, the market is constantly changing and at TurnKey Lender we choose to lead by the change by example rather than play catch-up.
Focus on South East Asia
Tell us about the markets you operate in and why it’s suitable for your fintech company/startup
TurnKey Lender operates on a global scale and over the years we’ve worked with businesses in over 30 countries. For new major markets, we deliver a country edition which addresses the specific regulatory requirements there. In our opinion, there’s a great need for truly turnkey lending automation around the globe and it’s our goal to become the go-to company for anyone willing to sell credit products with maximum digital automation, no matter where they come from.
In our expansion efforts, we’re focused on the markets of South East Asia, the US and Europe. Each country has special needs when it comes to starting and running a lending business, but we’re up for the task. For example, when challenged with the need to address the regulatory requirements and cultural peculiarities of the Islamic nations, we didn’t back down. We have deeply customized our all-in-one platform to meet the requirements of our clients there. Another example would the European GDPR laws. We have made preemptive structural changes to our platform to make it compliant before the new rules took effect, so our clients were ready when it happened. And when other countries will follow the tracks and introduce similar regulations, we will be ready to provide our clients with the functionality they need.
What is the most painful lesson you’ve learned as a founder?
Early on in my entrepreneurial journey, I’ve learned that technical expertise isn’t the sole most important factor when choosing people to work on my teams. That is why we only hire people we trust and enjoy working with, no exceptions. Credentials and importance don’t matter in this regard. The rule of thumb we use – hire the people you would want to hug. This way at TurnKey Lender we’ve managed to build a tight-knit community of exceptional professionals who know they can rely on each other and feel that they are valued.
And by the way, we’re hiring, so feel free to apply. 🙂
Another thing that became clear to me very quickly is that you got to have a grand yet crystalized vision in order to build something big. Only courageous ideas and daring concepts can change the status quo, no matter what niche you work in. And this is the mindset our team is applying to lending space right now. We see that things can be better and we use all of our talent, ambition, drive, and ideas to revolutionize crediting.