Nishant Deshpande was a dedicated saver throughout college, pocketing money from his internships at Robert W. Baird & Co. and other businesses.
So in his senior year at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and with more than four years of regular savings account deposits, he was surprised when his bank denied him a credit card.
Deshpande had a job planned after graduation, but what she lacked was a debt repayment history which is a major factor in determining creditworthiness.
He knew there had to be a better way, which eventually led him and his business partner Bryan Stave to create Investii, a cloud-based app that encourages savings rather than just reporting account balances. accounts.
Investii allows users to prove themselves by saving and investing, instead of going into debt even if it is not necessary.
“It never made sense to me that people couldn’t leverage their own savings behavior,” Deshpande said.
After college, he worked for BMO Harris Bank modeling credit risk for commercial borrowers. This scoring system, he said, seems fairer than the one used for individuals.
“It really made me realize how much of a disparity there was between credit reporting processes for large companies and people,” Deshpande said.
Investii has written an algorithm that uses a person’s history of saving, investing, and living within their means to assess credit risk for lenders. Banks can use the data to determine creditworthiness even if someone doesn’t have a long credit history.
“We’re tired of seeing young people struggling financially,” Stave said.
Investii was recently launched for Apple and Android users. Stave has been on the road, sometimes living in the company van, promoting the new service to colleges and businesses.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he has a background in health technology and music. And like Deshpande, he had been an avid saver for years.
“If there’s one problem I want to solve, this is it,” he said of helping people achieve their financial goals.
Investii raised about $285,000 in capital but only spent $120,000, according to Staverding at Stave. He and Deshpande have not yet taken a salary from the company, which also includes technical director Micha DeRusha of Sun Prairie and engineering manager Tyler Trebitowski of Madison.
Investii aims to make money from subscriptions, which will cost around $5 per month, and bank referrals. It also sells the service to colleges and businesses as a benefit offered to graduates and employees.
Colleges could also benefit from collecting anonymous data on the financial status of their graduates.
“It’s data that all schools want,” Stave said, but except for surveys, it’s hard to come by.
Subscribers can use the cloud-based software to track investments and savings, and to transfer funds between accounts at different financial institutions.
“We show your current net worth, and on the dashboard you can see any changes since you last logged in,” Stave said.
The app can also recommend how much money should be set aside each week or month to meet certain goals.
“We send alerts when you have money available to save and invest…you can choose from three predefined plans or create your own,” Stave said.
The app can handle recurring transfers between accounts, and Investii says it uses banking industry encryption to secure transactions.
“We don’t have your login credentials. None of this is stored with us,” Stave said.
Over 200 people downloaded the app shortly after its launch. The company has set a goal of around 25,000 users for it to be sustainable in the long term.
One of the goals is to create a database of lenders who have agreed to consider Investii information in credit risk assessments.
“Alternative credit metrics are gaining acceptance,” Stave said.
One of the first groups of subscribers that Investii would like to work with are people fresh out of jail who are trying to build a credit rating and establish savings habits.
“We can provide an alternative route to financial opportunity,” Stave said.