Croatian Startup Assesses Credit Ratings More Precisely Than Banks

Lauren Simmonds

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Bernard Ivezic writes on the 28th of October, 2019, one of the founders of McKinsey in Croatia, the former director of the Avenue Mall developer and Marlera golf project has thrown himself into AI. Meet yet another fascinating Croatian startup.

The Croatian startup Cantab Predictive Intelligence (Cantab PI) is the new star of the UK financial industry after demonstrating its ability to perform credit risk assessments based solely on transaction data to banks, even in cases where there is no credit history, which is more accurate than the internal algorithms banks currently have.

Cantab PI, using artificial intelligence (AI), has developed an algorithm used in accordance with the PSD2 regulation, ie open banking, and plans to develop a cloud service that will offer such calculations as software (SaaS) or data service. Interest in AI in finance has been growing since a week ago in the Croatian capital of Zagreb, after one of the top managers in the Atlantic Group, Mladen Pejkovic, announced that this technology began to directly affect Croatia’s GDP in 2018.

According to Cantab PI data scientist Matej Jusup, the results of the new algorithm were presented to the public at the Devareni 2019 developer conference in Zagreb, and in a conservative scenario, the accuracy of the algorithm is about 70 percent. In real terms, it grows to 72 percent, and when used optimistically, which means that it has access to all the information that a bank customer has internally, its accuracy is higher than existing banking algorithms, that is, it rises over 75 percent.

“Banks are now switching to open banking, which means that credit ratings will be much easier to calculate, and our algorithm allows you to do it more accurately than banks themselves,” says Jusup. He explains that their algorithm, which was developed right here in Croatia, achieves an accuracy similar to bank algorithms already in the conservative scenario, when it analyses only payments. In an optimistic scenario, he states, when demographic data can be retrieved from users, then its accuracy exceeds that of banks.

“Our goal now is to set up a Croatian team to develop a service that we can offer to banks as a service,” Jusup says. The director and founder of that Croatian startup, Sinisa Slijepcevic, also confirmed that they are on the lookout for a new product with a lot of international potential at Cantab PI. His biography is as surprising as the product his company developed. To the general public, Slijepcevic is known as the former director of the Polish GTC, which is the developer and owner of Avenue Mall.

Slijepcevic is also one of the founders of the McKinsey branch for Croatia. He was also the manager of the Marler Golf Project in Istria, co-owned by Drazen Ladic, with an investment in excess of 100 million euros. However, all this goes beyond the fact that he holds a PhD in Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics from Cambridge University, where his professor was Stephen Hawking. Today, in addition to running his own business, he is a professor at the Department of Mathematics at the Faculty of Science in Zagreb.

“Cantab PI is a synthesis of my two passions – science, especially applied mathematics, and business,” says Slijepcevic.

Make sure to follow our dedicated Made in Croatia page for much more on Croatian startups.


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