KPMG buys stake in a startup it lauded as a top 50 FinTech globally

19 September 2018

Accounting and consulting firm KPMG has taken a minority stake in AdviceRobo, a FinTech startup which its acquirer last year lauded as one of the globe’s 50 most promising FinTechs. AdviceRobo, which is based in the Netherlands, provides a technology which helps banks and retail lenders with better predicting financial risk of people and companies taking out loans.

Rob Fijneman, Head of Advisory at KPMG in the Netherlands, describes AdviceRobo as a “frontrunner in the sector”, highlighting that the firm will bolster KPMG’s AI-based predictive behavioral services for lenders. AdviceRobo’s software applies AI on non-financial data including the behavior of potential borrowers. Insights based on this information down the line enables lenders to improve their credit risk models and thus reduce costs. In addition, AdviceRobo’s algorithms can help with the identification of vulnerable consumers (those at risk of defaulting on loans in the future, churn and bad debt), providing lenders with more insight on risk-reward returns.

The Big Four has taken a minority interest in the FinTech startup, in a move that comes three quarters after KPMG in fact named AdviceRobo one of the globe’s most promising FinTechs. KPMG’s list, created in collaboration with an investment firm, consists of two rankings: one list that identifies the globe’s 50 most renowned FinTech companies, and another which included AdviceRobo that zooms in on potential future disrupters.

KPMG buys stake in a startup it lauded as a top 50 FinTech globally

AdviceRobo CEO Diederick van Thiel said that the cooperation with “such a prominent player as KPMG” will accelerate the firm’s global growth trajectory. On top of the financial injection, AdviceRobo will be granted access to KPMG’S expertise in the fields of risk management, regulation and data and analytics, as well as its global network to support the firm’s expansion drive. AdviceRobo currently serves its clients in ten countries across Europe and Latin America through offices in Amsterdam, London and Paris. Among AdviceRobo’s client roster are Argenta and Visii in the Netherlands, OTP Group in Hungary, and Banco Macro in Argentina.

Ultimately, Van Thiel, who founded the company in 2013 with Rosali Steenkamer (currently CCO), said his ambition is that the firm’s technology-led platform will pave the way for more provision of financial packages to “under-served customers”. “There are some 4.5 billion people worldwide who have insufficient or no access to loans, because they have little or no credit history. Our software enables lenders to target these underserved customers – this stimulates prosperity, entrepreneurship and the economy.”

The partnership between KPMG and AdviceRobo is led by Erik Rood, a partner in KPMG’s Dutch Financial Services practice. Co-founder Van Thiel and Steenkamer will continue to head AdviceRobo.

Earlier this year, KPMG joined a group of consulting firms in partnering with B-Hive, an international FinTech ecosystem that originated in Belgium. Meanwhile in the FinTech-consultancy space, Big Four rival Deloitte recently struck an alliance with Dutch FinTech firm Five Degrees, while Capgemini and European banking community Efma in the summer launched a new content and matchmaking platform for FinTechs.