Worth AI announces partnership with consumer credit giant Equifax

A brother-sister duo that produced one of Orlando’s highest-profile tech businesses in recent memory is off to a flying start with their next startup.

Worth AI cofounders Suneera Madhani and Sal Rehmetullah announced a strategic partnership Friday with Equifax. The Atlanta-based consumer credit reporting giant is one of the three largest in the world.

The partnership will make Equifax data on millions of U.S. businesses available to Worth AI. Worth uses artificial intelligence to produce more accurate risk assessments, quicker decisions and more standardized business credit scores assessing underwriting and risk management. The platform launches July 9.

“There is a sigh of relief but now the real work begins,” Rehmetullah told Orlando Tech News on Friday. “Like anything else, we need to go deliver on that promise.”

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, after reading a proclamation from the city, reminded those in attendance that the duo’s previous company started grew from a small startup 10 years ago to a unicorn-level company.

“In those same 10 years, our city has gone from an up-and-coming innovative ecosystem to becoming the MetaCenter of the Metaverse,” he said.

Madhani and Rehmetullah famously built their previous business Stax nee Fattmerchant to unicorn status in Orlando. Last month, they announced Worth AI.

“We love solving problems and this is a huge problem that we had in our space and it’s important to solve,” Madhani said.

In a statement released earlier in the day, Madhani said teaming with companies like Equifax will help Worth become make a bigger impact.

“Aligning Equifax’s data solutions with the Worth AI platform will speed the process of securing unbiased lines of credit for businesses that are equitable,” she said.

Statistics show that large banks approve less than 20 percent of small business loan applications. Worth AI aims to improve that number through AI technology that expands the factors used to calculate credit scores, resulting in a new metric: The Worth Score.

Equifax Senior VP Partnerships Melinda McBride said in Orlando on Friday that she was impressed by the enthusiasm she saw from the tech community. Equifax partnered with Worth because the company felt their data could contribute to the startup’s journey, she said.

“When you are tackling hard problems, it’s great to have a community behind you,” she said. “Small business is the engine and lifeblood of the economy.”

“Joining forces with Equifax enables us to take advantage of the highly credible and reliable data the company is known for,” Rehmetullah said. “We are extremely confident our new offering will improve the credit climate for small businesses by providing creditors with the accurate, reliable and insightful data they need to make informed decisions and minimize risk.”

Orlando Economic Partnership President and CEO Tim Giuliani said Madhani and Rehmetullah’s success could have a ripple effect on the community.

“Successful tech companies have an ability to spark new tech companies,” he said. “It’s a fantastic example of founders that take advantage of the resources we have here and succeed.”

As Madhani and Rehmetullah started to explore their next idea, they landed on equity in business loans.

Although they spent time between businesses, Madhani said there was rarely a doubt they would return.

“There is a reason why there is serial entrepreneurship,” Madhani said. “We love solving problems and this is a huge problem that we had in our space … to drive true financial equity for all. We’re on a mission to go solve that.”