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US Startup SOLO Gives Live Demo to Over 300 Financial Institutions

Founded by Egyptian entrepreneur Georgina Merhom, SOLO aims to streamline data collection and disrupt credit bureaus.

May El Habachi

New York-based startup SOLO, a first-party data collection and reporting platform, has given a live demo of its product to more than 300 financial institutions, including HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds, Citi, Bank of America, Standard Chartered, and JP Morgan Chase, in order to disrupt the way credit bureaus collect data.

Founded in 2022 by Egyptian entrepreneur Georgina Merhom, SOLO aims to streamline data collecting and reporting by replacing self-reported applications with real time system-generated and standardized reports. This enables banks and lenders to ensure accuracy in calculation and reporting by efficiently syncing and standardizing first-party customer data collection from any online system.

“In 2021, I founded my first company, Zivmi, and through a partnership with the National Bank of Egypt, we provided invoice factoring to digital freelancers, specifically targeting those without bank accounts,” says Georgina Merhom, Founder of SOLO. “By integrating with platforms like GitHub and Upwork, and requiring freelancers to log in to their operating systems, we accessed verified data on their experience level, client ratings, project refund rates, and proposal counts. This unveiled a crucial insight: business is advancing rapidly, but traditional methods of data collection are ancient and largely irrelevant for opportunity discovery. This was really the starting point for what would later become SOLO.”

According to SOLO, the outdated reporting system of credit bureaus, which rely on third party data for risk assessment, cost financial institutions billions of dollars in lost opportunities every year. As of May 2022, it costs banks $29 billion annually in the US alone to process self-reported applications, since they require manual verification and recalculation of finances, consuming about six to eight weeks of due diligence on average.

With SOLO, this process can take minutes instead of months, as it replaces the current application process with a data infrastructure and an automated reporting engine.

Looking to the near future, the startup wants to make universal basic income a reality by commoditizing user data. It wants users to be compensated for contributing their first-party data to credit bureaus. Unlike previous attempts from other startups to pay users for their data, SOLO believes this data is best suited for credit bureaus.

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