May 24, 2024

Commercial Bank International Powers Investment Round In zypl.ai

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The investment includes a post-seed bridge round investment into zypl.ai, alongside a group of global investors, ahead of the company’s planned Series A raise which is due to take place later in 2024
Commercial Bank International (CBI), the Dubai-based corporate and retail bank, has announced its investment in zypl.ai, a fintech startup pioneering the application of generative AI in lending. Image courtesy: Commercial Bank International

Commercial Bank International (CBI), the Dubai-based corporate and retail bank, has announced its investment in zypl.ai, a fintech startup pioneering the application of generative AI in lending.

Industry sources added that this investment comprises a post-seed bridge round investment into zypl.ai, alongside a group of global investors, ahead of the company’s planned Series A raise which is due to take place later in 2024.

Industry sources added that having crossed $1 million in annual recurring revenue at more than 20% compounded monthly growth rate since the launch of sales, zypl.ai is already operationally break-even.  In addition to global expansion with major financial institutions across continents, the fintech is eyeing microfinance in Southeast Asia and credit unions in North America in particular, along with a foray into underwriting in the insurance industry. 

zypl.ai’s flagship software – zypl.score – permits the financial institutions to optimize credit decision models across retail and SME portfolios through the generation of synthetic data. Over 35 banks across 12 markets in Eurasia have deployed zypl.ai’s proprietary AI-as-a-service software, underwriting >$100 million of credit portfolio at minimal default rates. 

Industry sources added that to power its credit decisions, zypl.ai has built proprietary generative adversarial networks (GAN) on a cumulative dataset of over 54 million traditional and alternative data points. This unique approach provides financial institutions with macro-resilient decision-making on dynamically trained AI models that factor in changing macroeconomic cycles.

Ali Sultan Rakkad Al Amri, CEO of CBI

Commenting on zypl.ai, Ali Sultan Rakkad Al Amri, CEO of CBI, stated “Our partnership with zypl.ai, an innovative AI platform, signifies a strategic entry into using AI implementation for advanced credit scoring. By harnessing zypl.ai’s synthetic data AI powered algorithms, we’re confident we can further enhance our operational efficiencies to ensure a swift and seamless lending experience. Our work and investment with zypl,ai aligns well with our commitment to supporting innovation in the UAE and with our strategic ambition to partner with only the most innovative partners in the financial technology space. We look forward to supporting zypl.ai’s growth both regionally and internationally.”

Commenting on zypl.ai’s potential, Azizjon stated “The $27 billion credit scoring industry globally has been constrained to a vicious, legacy cycle of building decision models on historical data. This has repeatedly reproduced the same suboptimal results of high rejection and default rates across geographies, banks and segments. Our approach provides a radical alternative: training models on synthetically generated simulations of historical data under extreme macroeconomic scenarios or so-called ‘black swans’. Adding such outlier data generated by AI empowers financial institutions – large and small, retail and wholesale, mass market and niche – to retain resilient portfolios across all macro cycles. Our rapid traction is proving that generative AI is not just in content creation – it is a disrupting technology that can shake up the world of finance.”

Industry sources stated CBI and zypl.ai initially launched a proof of concept in the summer of 2023, conducting a backtest of zypl’s synthetic AI algorithms on CBI’s historical retail dataset. The outcome was convincing: with minimal application data lacking credit history information, zypl.ai was able to reduce default rates by two-thirds whilst retaining 90% of non-default customers.

Following the positive outcome, CBI entered into a commercial pilot of zypl.score in the fall of last year, with an expanded scope of retail decision model that included risk rating and Large Language Module (LLM) – driven decision interpretation capabilities. At present, the Bank has proceeded to a full deployment of zypl.score in its retail lending through a software licensing agreement with zypl.ai.

Industry sources add further that founded in 2021 by Azizjon Azimi, an alum of Stanford University (MBA’21) and Harvard University (MPP’21), zypl.ai now has over 50 full-time employees including a research and development lab and a machine learning academy in its home market of Tajikistan.

As part of its bridge investment in zypl.ai, CBI will gain a seat on the company’s Board of Directors to help support the next stage of global growth. zypl.ai had raised $2 million in its prior rounds from Tumar Venture Fund (joint World Bank and Government of Kazakhstan fund), European fund Presto Ventures, American fund Battery Road Digital Holdings, leading regional banks including Jordan Ahli Bank and Uzbekistan’s Aloqabank, and a group of angel investors across MENA and Central Asia. In its latest bridge round, zypl.ai has thus far raised $1.2 million at a post-money valuation of $25 million.

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