The “it factor”
Today, Senso.ai announced a new financing round — adding five new leading institutional investors. BreakawayGrowth couldn’t be more excited for the team at Senso.ai!
Financing with five new investors is a great validation for any start-up, but to have secured this achievement in the middle of a pandemic is truly exceptional. The confidence of these new investors emphasizes the hard-won progress the team has made in disrupting the $1 Trillion market they are attacking, but also gives them fuel in the tank for opportunities to come.
It is hard to believe it has only been twelve months since we announced our first investment in the company at the Collision conference alongside their first customer RBC. The Senso team, like all of us, have been navigating the new normal of a post CV19 world that has surfaced unprecedented professional and personal challenges.
Despite CV19, the team has made incredible progress:
- Senso’s round was a significant up-round AND 100%+ oversubscribed, adding five new exceptional fintech-focused inventors as partners to fuel the next leg of success. Two of the new investors come from each coast of the US . Mendoza is a Boston-based firm that is 100% focused on best Fintech opportunities in NA, while RisingTide is a San Francisco-based firm that is closely connected to giants like Wells Fargo. In addition, we have three exceptional new Canadian first time investors — Luge, iNovia, and BDC. These experienced Fintech investors add significant bench strength as Senso.ai executes their North American rollout strategy. All five of these firms are making their FIRST investments in the company in the middle of CV19.
- The Senso team has accelerated the deployment of its groundbreaking cloud-based AI platform that enables financial service providers to manage and grow their consumer credit portfolios. The network effects of their application/industry-focused cloud-based machine learning are now in evidence (more on this later this summer). Their platform is a game-changer in terms of the understanding, cost, and efficiency of consumer lending.
- Senso has also brought on world-class new advisors, including Robert Pozen (former Chairman of the Advisory Board SEC,) and Jordon Graham (former President FICO).
Senso is attacking a massive market of over $1T in legacy backward-looking and disconnected consumer credit. They are disrupting the industry by creating an extensible Senso Score that is a predictive, proactive, connected, and cloud-based consumer credit score that improves the experience for consumers, merchants, and financial institutions. Their PII-protected and efficient cloud approach is well overdue and will increase the transparency and cost-effectiveness of consumer credit in North America. Yes — the execution of all these buzzwords and the real impact for customers is part of what gets us excited.
The “it factor” —
We have had the privilege to be partners with the founders of companies like DocuSign, Pinterest, Juniper Networks, MongoDB, Thousandeyes, and 80 other companies. It is hard to describe when you meet founders with the “it factor”. It is more than just integrity, focus, and drive. It is more than the products, competitive positioning, and technical innovation. These factors all matter — they do. The difference between ordinary and exceptional is much harder to quantify or assess when there is almost no data or experience to be able to say “of course”!
The leadership of dynamic founders of high integrity shines through — not in good times, but when it is hard. Having been founders ourselves of six companies, we know how hard it is when the world seems to shake you like an earthquake every other day. When this goes on for months, we have experienced how hard it is to stay grounded, stay focused, and continue to inspire your team to execute. We also know how rare it is to have founders that meet these obstacles head-on, and from the outside, make the impossible look effortless.
We knew last year when we made our initial investment in Saroop and the team that Senso was special. We did not foresee the storms that they have powered through in the last 12 months.
Not only did they accelerate the business in challenging times, the team also saw that their community was hurting and needed support.
The Senso team, as part of #redmaskproject, started SensoGo.com that helped raise over $110,000 working with nine other startups to deliver Care Packages (PPE, Meals, Thank you Cards, and supplies) to #frontlineworkers in seven cities (Ottawa, Toronto, Boston, Dallas, San Francisco, New York, New Jersey, St. Louis, & LA) and more than 21 Hospitals.
No one expected it or asked for it, they just did it. Even more evidence of the “it factor”.
Needless to say, we are even more excited about what lays ahead and confident this team can handle anything that is thrown at them. We are also thrilled to be adding five exceptional partners to the team and the acceleration ahead.
Senso’s focus and goals are clear — nothing less than a world championship will do. The Senso.ai team just got a lot stronger. There will be more challenges ahead to be sure. We are more confident than ever that the Senso.ai team has the “it factor” and will not be denied. We are excited and proud to be their partner.