Mint Ventures backs AI-driven debt support firm

Rachel Curtis and Gillian Fleming (pic: contributed)

Mint Ventures, the women-led angel investment group, has provided funding to Scotland and Midlands-based financial support company, Inicio AI.

Inicio AI is led by CEO Rachel Curtis and is at the forefront of using artificial intelligence (AI) to help those struggling with debt.

The new strategic partnership with Mint Ventures looks to support Inicio AI in the next phase of its product development in the rapidly-evolving AI landscape.

The undisclosed investment is seen as a significant milestone for both Mint Ventures and Inicio AI, reflecting their shared commitment to pushing the boundaries of innovation with a social purpose and to bring more women investors to the table.

The capital from Mint Ventures will enable Inicio AI to build on its early client success, where it is seeing engagement rates for those in debt increase by 30%, enabling the business to scale and help more end consumers via their B2B software platform.

Gillian Fleming, CEO of Mint Ventures, said: “We are extremely pleased to be supporting Inicio AI to take them to the next level and align our members collective expertise as well as bring more diversity to the investment base.”

Rachel Curtis, CEO of Inicio AI, added, “The partnership brings so much more than just the investment, I now have the counsel, support and backing of an amazing group of women that bring such relevant and timely experience to our journey.  

“Alongside our investment from Morgan Stanley Inclusive Ventures Lab, I’m seeing the investment landscape change, with key organisations finding ways to improve the woefully low levels of funding that currently go to female founders.”

She added: “The idea for Inicio came out of consumer research, where we could see that customers were really struggling with taking the first step to resolving their debt. 

“Our new approach to debt support works for borrowers and lenders alike, ensuring it is efficient, fair and removes the barrier of shame that people feel when talking to humans about their debt.”  

Figures from The Financial Conduct Authority show that 10.9m people in the UK are now struggling to meet bills and credit repayments, an increase of 3.1m since May 2022.

In December 2022, a survey by The Money and Mental Health Institute revealed that 1 in 6 UK adults (17%) reported experiencing suicidal thoughts or feelings over the previous nine months as a result of the rising cost of living.  

One in 8 people (13%) who were behind on at least one payment said they had attempted to take their own life as a result of the cost-of-living crisis. 

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