EarlyStage, Member Exclusive

‘We built accounting systems from scratch’: ForwardAI wants lenders to do away with PDFs and Excel

  • Lenders struggle to get at accounting information that resides in PDFs and Excel.
  • A new fintech data player wants to replace that old model with real time and forward looking accounting data.
close

Email a Friend

‘We built accounting systems from scratch’: ForwardAI wants lenders to do away with PDFs and Excel

This article was sent out to subscribers to EarlyStage, Tearsheet’s newest newsletter. With EarlyStage, we go deeper on some younger companies that point to trends, products and services, and entrepreneurs that should be on your radar screen. Subscribe to the EarlyStage Newsletter here.

In the early days of founding expense management software firm, SlickPie, Nick Chandi fielded calls from customers. A particular customer called in one day. She had a bill coming up but no money in the bank. She ran a small business with lots of customers, but this time a series of unfortunate events happened. A couple of customers were late paying and she had to take a big expense. Now, she was in a position where she would miss a payment.

This customer turned to Chandi. She didn’t need much — she was short less than $20,000. But she was stuck. Banks didn’t want to lend to her because her needs were modest. It costs a financial institution the same amount to underwrite a $20,000 loan as it would a $250,000. She told Chandi that because she uses his accounting software, he knew her situation better than anyone. She joked, would he lend her some money?

That interaction inspired Chandi’s newest venture, ForwardAI. Recognizing the power of accounting data in lending decisions, he started working on building an initial product, a cash flow planning tool. He talked to lenders about what they could do with this data. ForwardAI offers FIs easier and cleaner access to their customers’ data sitting in QuickBooks or Xero. They can get this data themselves, sure — when a customer applies for a loan, banks and non-bank lenders primarily use PDFs and Excel to build their credit models asynchronously from accounting data. The difference is that ForwardAI provides real time and forward looking data so lenders can make decisions on the fly.


This content is available exclusively to Tearsheet Outlier members.

Tearsheet Outlier information and signup Missing out? Subscribe today and you’ll receive unlimited access to all Tearsheet content, original research, exclusive webinars and events, member-only newsletters from Tearsheet editors and reporters and much more. Join Outlier now — only $49/mo. Already an Outlier member? Sign in to your account

0 comments on “‘We built accounting systems from scratch’: ForwardAI wants lenders to do away with PDFs and Excel”

Member Exclusive

‘FIs and lenders have begun to recognize the inequities in the system’: Credit building services are on the rise

  • Consumers’ interest in credit building seems to be near an all-time high.
  • New solutions are popping up, but so are their accompanying risks.
Rivka Abramson | June 21, 2021
Data Snacks, Member Exclusive

Data snack: A breakdown of North American e-commerce payments projections

  • Digital payments, mobile wallets, and BNPL services grew in 2020 and will continue to grow by 2024.
  • Bank transfers, charge cards and COD expected to decline further by 2024.
Shehzil Zahid | June 16, 2021
Member Exclusive

BankProv taps into the crypto market with Ethereum-backed loans

  • BankProv is financing Ethereum-backed loans through a collaboration with crypto custody bank Anchorage Digital.
  • Institutional investors can now get USD on credit without liquidating their ETH holdings.
Ismail Umar | June 15, 2021
Member Exclusive

Cheat Sheet: Will cryptocurrencies ever achieve mainstream adoption?

  • The crypto market crashed a few weeks ago, and has not shown any real signs of recovery yet.
  • What does this mean for the future of the industry, and what are the challenges toward mainstream adoption?
Ismail Umar | June 10, 2021
Member Exclusive

Millennials’ financial habits diverge from previous generations, according to research by BofA

  • A significant percentage of millennials seem to be less about paychecks and more about ethics.
  • Covid has shifted the way millennials think about spending and saving.
Rivka Abramson | June 09, 2021
More Articles