Luna Connect tell us about their aspirations for Data Pitch and beyond.

Manual loan origination processes are time-consuming and expensive for lenders, and are failing to keep up with the growing trend of customer empowerment in financial services. Irish startup Luna Connect have built a digital lending platform that aims to transform the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) lending space using automation and alternative data sources.

We spoke to Luna Connect founder Brian D’Arcy about their plans for Data Pitch.

What do you hope to achieve on the Data Pitch accelerator?

We hope to create new Machine Learning (ML) models to automate SME lending, providing a faster and more transparent customer experience for borrowers, while also reducing the cost and risk for institutions.

What shared data will you work with and how will you use it?

We are working on the Finance Challenge (overcoming the data challenges in the financial sector). We’re working with SME data, including banking data, accountancy, company registration and social media to create a prediction algorithm that will replace manual lending processes.

Why do you think it is important for startups to work with large scale data providers?

Data Providers have vast amounts of data which are not being used to add value to their customers. Collaboration with startups can accelerate an organisation’s digital transformation, and create new products and services for their customers.

What’s the best thing about working with data?

Exploring a dataset and discovering a new insight. Sometimes you discover something that you weren’t even looking for!

If you could change one thing about the data ecosystem what would it be?

We need more data sharing and openness in the data ecosystem. The technology is now available to make data sharing easy and secure, but there are other barriers – for example fears that sharing data is anti-competitive. We need more awareness of its benefits, and  how to approach the non-technical side of data sharing.