Archive Monthly Archives: January 2019

SelfScore raises $7.1 million to help international students get credit in the U.S.

A startup called SelfScore has raised $7.1 million in new venture funding to help bring much-needed financial services to international students at U.S. colleges and universities.

SelfScore co-founder and CEO Kalpesh Kapadia grew up in India, but moved to the U.S. for graduate school in 1995. Thats when he first noticed the challenges of assimilating into what he says is the credit-based economy of the U.S., even for students with the best grades and highest degree of responsibility.

The system has been designed around things like credit scores from FICO which came into existence before the smartphone, the internet and social media. And if you move here of course you will not have a ready made credit history.

According to SelfScores market analysis, the 1.1 million international students in the U.S. are responsible for some $31 billion in annual spending, including tuition of course.

SelfScore advertises as the International Students MasterCard, and largely thats what it is today.

Heres how the company is distinct from other banks and credit card providers serving foreign students, Kapadia said, We measure a borrowers credit potential instead of their history.We also help them build a credit score through credit education.

Kalpesh Kapadia, co-founder and CEO of SelfScore

The company uses data thats standard in the financial services world to determine whether a student should get access to a SelfScore credit card in the first place.

Students provide SelfScore withpassport or visa info, to show they have a right to be studying in the U.S., and evidence that theyare enrolled in school, as well as their e-mail, phone number and physical address.

But once the company has given borrowers access to a credit card, SelfScore uses machine learning, and data from Facebook and LinkedIn to understand when they are going through major life changes that could impact their finances.

Graduating from a prestigious school makes users look like a good credit risk, but contrastingly, changing from a full-timejob to looking for work,or changing from married to divorce could mean someone is more of a credit risk, and more in need of credit-related education.

Pelion Venture Partners led the new investment in SelfScore joined by Accel Partners and Aspect Ventures. The funding is classified as a Series A extension, and brings the companys total equity funding raised to about $14.5 million.

With his firms investment, Blake Modersitzki, managing partner at Pelion Venture Partners, has joined the board of SelfScore.

Kapadia said while the company only offers one major card to students now, it will use the new Series A funding for hiring, marketing and to roll out tiered levels of service from gold to platinum credit cards in the next year or two.

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‘The Walking Dead’ wants to introduce you to Lucille in twisted new teaser

Fans of The Walking Dead have been obsessing about the identity of Negan’s victim for the past six months, and on Sunday, Oct. 23, we’ll finally learn who got a face-to-face introduction to Lucille when the Season 7 premiere debuts on AMC.

In the meantime, Mashable has learned exclusively, brave viewers can put themselves into the unenviable position that Rick and his group have found themselves in, thanks to a new partnership between AMC and Facebook. Daring souls can visit MeetLucille.com and, by connecting their Facebook account to the site, play a harrowing game of eeny meeny miny moe with Negan himself. (And, to ease the trauma, enter to win tickets to the premiere taping of Talking Dead.)

Digital marketing agency 360i worked with AMC to bring the chilling activation to life, and according to Linda Schupack, head of marketing for AMC and SundanceTV, it was a no-brainer (pun intended) after the last scene in the Season 6 finale, which saw Negan savagely beating one of our heroes to death: “We knew that that was the scene that people would want to engage with, and we wanted to give people a way to experience it,” she says.

Facebook proved to be an ideal partner because it offered a more personal element for fans, Schupack explains. “It really allowed us to go beyond the sheer conversation that these fans were having around The Walking Dead and let the audience enter into this world and engage with it by pulling in their community to experience that final scene,” she says. “The power of the show has always been ‘what would I do, how would I feel,’ so people are engaging with that show in that way in general, and this gives them a particular way to take it even further.”

From Schupack’s perspective, it’s illustrative of the evolution of social media and the role it plays in promoting a series which has become as much about expanding the world of a show as about driving discussion around it.

“All of these platforms are particularly exciting for us as marketers to think about how we can broaden and deepen the relationship between fans and the property,” Schupack notes. “The opportunity to use these tools in new and exciting and entertaining ways to deepen fan engagement takes us beyond the conversation notion of social media and lets us bring people into the emotional experience.”

The Walking Dead Season 7 premieres Sunday, Oct. 23 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC, and the network is airing a two-hour primer on the journey of the show so far beginning at 9 p.m. on Oct. 16.

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22 Facebook FAILs Where People Got Called Out For Lying

These people need to quit their bullshit. 

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