Mili shakes up Russian loan market by using social-media accounts to assess borrowers

MILIru-screenLoaning money from banks is an age-old practice, but one trend to have sprung up only in recent years is offering loan-services access based on scores derived from analyzing the social-media accounts of borrowers. One such service dedicated to assessing borrowers based on their social-media accounts is Mili, which launched in Russia in 2012.

In order to obtain funds from Mili, users identify the amount that they are seeking and then connect to Mili through one of their social-networks. After completing a form and entering their passport information, users wait for a phone call. Once they’ve been approved, they can go to a Euroset location to pick up a card with the loaned-amount in the account. The maximum that customers can take up to $350 at any one time and $1,000 over a 30-day period.

George Belotserovsky, the chief business-development officer (CBDO) at Mili, says that they created the service due to a weak credit-history market in Russia and felt that there should be a better way to serve clients. To date, they have given out 8K loans and claim 50K registered users.

Belotserovsky says that they have $2 million in backing from undisclosed private investors. The service is limited to Russian citizens at the moment, but he says that they are planning to take their business model and expand internationally.

Major competitors from across the pond include San Francisco-based LendUp, which graduated from Y Combinator and raised $50 million in debt-financing from Victory Park Capital back in December, and Hamburg-based Kreditech, which raised $40 million in a Series B from Point Nine Capital, Blumberg Capital, and Varde Capital just last week.

Kreditech assesses borrowers based on points including browsing history, online social-connections, and more. LendUp does not require borrowers to submit social-media accounts for examination, but they allow them to do so in an effort to boost their credit scores.

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