REBEL: Transforming Financial Services in Brazil with AI and Big Data

The FinTech company is using emerging technologies to open up financial services to Brazil's middle class.

20.08.2019 | by Reve Fisher
Photo by sergio souza on Unsplash
Photo by sergio souza on Unsplash

REBEL is not merely offering loans to Brazil’s middle class—the company wants to lead the transformation of financial services throughout the entire country. 

Founded in 2016, REBEL is a FinTech startup with a data, tech and analytics-driven online platform. The company uses emerging technologies such as machine learning and big data to offer personalised loan proposals; the company provides loans of up to 50,000 Brazilian reals (about 12,269 USD) for up to 24 months at interest rates as low as 2.9 percent per month.

Loan applicants first need to request a loan amount on the REBEL website. They then need to fill out a form with more information about themselves and their financial needs. Once they connect their bank to the site, the company’s platform performs a fast, secure credit analysis that often takes only a few hours. If approved, the consumer will receive the funds within one business day.

The startup also offers consumers free access to a “REBEL Score,” a credit score that serves as a straightforward measure of a consumer’s credit profile. The REBEL Score can also help suggest clear steps to improve consumers’ financial health.

The entreprise is also the only FinTech company in Brazil to use blockchain technologies to certify contracts.

“REBEL has developed a significant position in the rapidly growing fintech industry in Brazil through its leading analytics and technology platform, differentiated financial products and its focus on meeting the needs of the middle-class consumer,” REBEL CEO Rafael Pereira said in a 2018 press release.

Since starting operations in 2017, the startup has already acquired four billion reals’ worth (981,560,000 USD) in loan applications.

The online loan platform recently raised 167 million reals ($42.2 million) via securitisation of financial loans—10 times more than what it raised in its first issuance 10 months ago.

The cost of raising capital was also lower in this second round: CDI rate plus 5.75 percent, compared to 6 percent for the first offering.

“The size of growth in the amount of the issuance in such a short period of time is a rare occurrence in the Brazilian market, and shows investor confidence in REBEL and in the quality of the assets that we are creating,” REBEL CFO André Botelho Bastos stated in a press release.

With this loan securitisation, REBEL can serve more consumers and further increase its impact throughout Brazil’s financial landscape.

“It is the fuel for us to continue accelerating,” André explained. “We have very advanced loan-analysis models that use machine learning and artificial intelligence. This allows us to assess and price every loan request precisely in just a few minutes, which guarantees us a default rate that is substantially lower than that of the market.”

With these funds, REBEL aims to focus on improving the consumer’s experience—offering lower rates and more benefits.

“Banks usually say they are obligated to charge high-interest rates because non-payment is high, causing a vicious and negative cycle,” André said. “We want to create a virtuous cycle that inspires more confidence, security, and improved loan proposals in Brazil.”

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