Development Bank backs next-generation international fintech company with seed fund equity investment

Investment Executive
Equity finance
Sustainability in business

The Development Bank of Wales was among a number of global backers which supported international fintech startup AGAM in a recently-closed funding round.

Headquartered in Cardiff, AGAM aims to revolutionise lending, delivering an AI-based credit scoring service to people without a credit history or those looking to secure small loans.

AGAM – meaning “advance” in Bangla – uses an algorithm based on an individual’s financial literacy, access to finance, resilience and confidence to judge their suitability for borrowing, and also provides modules on financial education to help boost their credit scores.

Its digital nano-loans service platform, PrimeAgrim, was successfully piloted in Bangladesh with Prime Bank – one of the country’s leading private and commercial banks – to help build credit scores for workers who have been unable to accrue credit histories due to working in cash-paying jobs.

AGAM also recently announced a partnership with SBK Foundation, Bangladesh’s first digital-only microfinance provider, to give gig economy workers and entrepreneurs access to loans.

The company has also been backed via the UK Department for International Trade’s Global Entrepreneur programme, Invest UK and the FinTech Wales Foundry Accelerator programme.

Shabnam Wazed, the 30-year-old founder and CEO of AGAM, is a graduate of the Wales fintech programme.

Shabnam said: “We are delighted to have attracted the backing of a range of international investors from UK, EU, US, and Asia – including the Development Bank of Wales.

“This funding will enable us to accelerate our mission, both in terms of developing the technology which underpins the platform, facilitating new commercial partnerships, and by entering new markets following the successful deployment in Bangladesh.”

Jack Christopher of the Development Bank of Wales said: “AGAM is exactly the type of fintech firm we want to work with, and we are especially pleased to see them take root in the Welsh tech system – which is an ideal fit for their aspirations and operations.

“AGAM is already seeing a positive impact in Bangladesh and can do the same for other countries in the future. It’s a great example of investors seeking to generate returns on their investments while also fulfilling their environmental, social and governance obligations.

“We are looking forward to the journey ahead with AGAM and its founder Shabnam.”