PERSONAL finance app Bud has won a share of £2m as part of the government’s Rent Recognition Challenge competition.
Bud, which lets users manage accounts from a range of providers including peer-to-peer lenders Zopa and RateSetter, was named among three winners, alongside CreditLadder and RentalStep.
Bud is building an artificial-intelligence driven rental recognition tool. It will allow banks to integrate the service into their apps so that people can use their rental history to help them do things like apply for a mortgage.
The software automatically detects when an individual is paying rent and prompts them to get the payments verified.
These verified payments are all gathered in a ‘rental profile’ and are able to be shared via application programming interface (API) technologies with digital mortgage brokers, banks and other relevant services such as CreditLadder, and RentalStep.
“The affordability of housing is a huge problem for millions of people and whilst its not a silver bullet, helping people to understand their data better has to be part of the solution.” Ed Maslaveckas, founder of Bud, said.
“Notifying people proactively that rent could now help their credit history and making that process easy are good steps in the right direction.”
Launched in December 2017, the Rent Recognition Challenge provided an initial round of grant funding to six budding businesses to help turn their ideas into a workable product. An expert panel of judges then whittled the six down to three, who have received a final package of government funding.
“Monthly rent is often the biggest expense that people face,” John Glen, economic secretary to the Treasury said.
“Yet most lenders are unable to take it into account when working up a credit score. Three pioneering start-ups have found a solution, and we’re giving them the investment and support they need to help millions of renters across the country achieve their dream of owning a home.”