Debt-collection startup TrueAccord was launched after co-founder Ohad Samet started getting phone calls at random times from a number he didn’t recognize — which turned out to be a debt-collection agency calling about a late payment on Samet’s Macy’s card.
“Something is really broken in that experience,” Samet told TechCrunch. “There’s a lot of money involved” — about $14 billion in the U.S. alone — “and it’s a really negative experience.” So he launched TrueAccord last year, which uses data intelligence, machine learning and behavioral psychology to make the process of debt collection more transparent and customer friendly — and if possible, to keep from losing the creditor as a customer.
When the company receives an overdue account from a creditor, its system builds a user profile and makes an informed guess about what could be causing the person to be late on the payment. Based on that, TrueAccord sends an email and reaches out to the creditor to help set up payment plans to get the debts paid off. TrueAccord also lets creditors pay or dispute their financial obligations through an easy-to-use online interface.
Since its launch last year, TrueAccord’s approach has rung up around 18 customers, and attracted $5 million from investors Khosla Ventures, TenOneTen Ventures, serial entrepreneur Max Levchin, Braintree founder Bryan Johnson, and Hunter Walk and Satya Patel’s Homebrew investment fund.
“They set out to treat people fairly,” said Khosla Ventures partner Ben Ling, “so companies can maintain an on-brand approach.”