Ice Breakers

Ice Breakers with Peter Barcak

December 15, 2022

Peter Barcak is the founder and CEO of сredolab, a leading developer of bank-grade digital scorecards and data enrichment solutions built from smartphone and web behavioral metadata.

Before launching credolab in 2016, Peter held senior roles at leading banks, including BNP, Citibank, Intesa Sanpaolo Group, and Platinum Bank.

👋🏼 How would you explain your job to someone outside tech?

Our company analyzes smartphone metadata to help banks, BNPLs, and other lenders better understand their customers and reduce rejection rates for loans and other banking products.

Our technology is also in high demand in risk management, fraud prevention, marketing and other different verticals. All the data we work with is anonymous and permissioned by the smartphone owners themselves.

🧐 What's something about you or your job that would surprise us?

Each of us leaves an extensive digital footprint behind. Some of this is highly personal data about our lives, where we live, and who we are in contact with.

Credolab doesn't look at any of that personal data. We instead focus on what is called metadata. It can be, for example, the number of events added to your calendar, the number of new contacts or the types of apps you install.

Credolab uses about 10 million of these micro-behavioral traces to make a predictive credit or risk score without processing any personal data. This is rather data about data, completely anonymized and protected from prying eyes.

All data is stored in JSON format on the credolab cloud, and we never share raw data with clients. Unlike Meta or Google, we don't collect data to show you targeted advertising. We do it to give you a fairer assessment in terms of creditworthiness. In this way, we serve the real purpose of obtaining data.

🏆 What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far?

More than 20 years of my career have been devoted to risk management and leading teams.

I spent my formative years at Citibank, after which I worked at Intesa Sanpaolo, where I created retail risk management from scratch. When someone applies for a mortgage or a credit card at that bank today, the decision will be made using policies and practices established back then on my initiative.

And after that, I went to my first startup, Platinum Bank in Ukraine, supported by the IMF, Goldman Sachs and Warburg Pincus. Together with my partners, we sold the bank in 2013, and it was a fantastic deal.

The hardest thing for a risk manager is probably to take risks yourself.

The absolute turning point in my career was the move to Singapore and the launching of credolab in 2016. It was a completely new market with fresh energy and an incredible challenge.

Today, when our company has already raised $8.1M to date, and our product is in demand by 150+ customers worldwide, I realize that this risk was absolutely worth it.

My team and I are now planning to raise Series B financing to expand our markets of presence and verticals. So I think the biggest highlights of my career are yet to come.

🔍 What's a startup trend or space you're watching this year?

The major trends at the moment are given by the macro environment – and we are talking about the price of money.

This is affecting valuations and the ability to raise money, which are both super crucial for every startup. We are going to see very soon who is swimming without a swimsuit.

Only the strongest companies are going to survive this, and I don't mean to be harsh about that. It's just that it's getting very difficult out there. On the plus side, this environment has caused us (credolab) to double down on our internal focus within the company, ensuring that we are nailing the fundamentals.

💼 What advice would you give someone starting out in your industry?

It is always worth looking at current problems from a much greater perspective — this will allow you to see them more clearly.

And to do that, you have to constantly develop your horizons, learn new things, broaden your scope of communication and find unique people from whom you can gain new insights and see the world from a different perspective.

🗣 What's one thing you can keep talking about for hours?

I really enjoy talking with my three kids about the business world and about the world in general.

I think as a founder and entrepreneur, I've gathered a lot of unique insights. My kids are old enough now to understand these things, and they've shown real curiosity. So this has become a recent development as a parent and as a businessman that I find really rewarding.

🎥 What's your favorite movie/TV show?

I watch a few series… Mr. Robot is great! I'm a big fan of Amadeus, the film from 1984… the list goes on.

🍨 What's your go-to ice cream flavor?

Chocolate! Steady and delicious

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