Bangladeshi FinTech AGAM is moving its global HQ to Cardiff.
The company has raised an undisclosed amount of investment led by the Development Bank of Wales, which invests in technologies which deliver positive impacts for Wales.
AGAM is an alumnus of the UK Department for International Trade’s Global Entrepreneur Programme, FinTech Wales Foundry Accelerator programme and Invest UK.
AGAM is aiming to ‘accelerate the lending revolution for individuals and businesses’. The company has undertaken a pilot of its platform in Bangladesh with Prime Bank, one of the country’s leading private and commercial banks.
The pilot of the digital nano loans service platform – called PrimeAgrim, was facilitated by the Bank, international NGO Swisscontact and AGAM, with the aim to provide smarter access to finance through artificial intelligence.
Last month AGAM announced a partnership with Bangladesh’s first digital-only microfinance provider, SBK Foundation, to give entrepreneurs and gig economy workers access to loans.
Now AGAM is looking to further scale its operations, including applying the approach in other markets, with India identified as the next market.
“We are delighted to have attracted the backing of a range of international investors from the UK, EU, US, and Asia,” said founder and CEO Shabnam Wazed.
“This funding will enable us to accelerate our mission, both in terms of developing the technology which underpins the platform, facilitating new commercial partnerships, and by entering new markets following the successful deployment in Bangladesh.”
AGAM means ‘advance’ in Bangla. Its platform provides smart access to digital finance, empowering individuals and businesses by putting responsibility directly into their hands via a dynamic credit scoring system.
The AI LARC algorithm (Literacy, Access, Resilience, Confidence – AGAM’s scoring technology) is based on behavioural analytics to judge a potential borrower’s suitability. It also includes financial education modules to improve an individual’s credit score.
Jack Christopher of the Development Bank of Wales said: “AGAM is exactly the type of FinTech firm we want to work with, and we are especially pleased to see them take root in the Welsh tech system – which is an ideal fit for their aspirations and operations.
“AGAM is already seeing a positive impact in Bangladesh and can do the same for other countries in the future. It’s a great example of investors seeking to generate returns on their investments while also fulfilling their environmental, social and governance obligations.
“We are looking forward to the journey ahead with AGAM and its founder Shabnam Wazed.”