ClearScore, a fintech startup co-founded by Google’s former UK managing director Dan Cobley, opened its doors to the public for the first time on Thursday.
The company, which only opened to a select few for testing since the start of the month, gives people a completely free credit score. ClearScore will start running TV ads imminently.
Cobley told Business Insider: “It’s like a CreditExpert without the £15 ($US23) a month charge. The revenue model is that if we can help you understand your credit situation, and the products and services that might be right for you, then we can lead you to those and we get a commission from the providers.”
Cobley ran Google’s UK operation for 3 years until August last year, reporting to Google’s European head Matt Brittin. He joined Google from credit card business CapitalOne as UK marketing director in 2006.
Since leaving the search engine Cobley has helped set up Brightbridge Ventures, a fintech focused company builder. Brightbridge is the fintech arm of Blenheim Chalcot, a company builder that has been around since the late 1990s.
Cobley says: “We start businesses from scratch and bring in an entrepreneur or we embrace an entrepreneur’s idea and say, OK we’ll back you for the duration. In committing to that we’ll also take a majority stake.”
ClearScore is a product of Brightbridge and based in Blenheim Chalcot’s Hammersmith, west London, offices. Cobley says: “With ClearScore we saw the opportunity of doing something like Credit Karma in the UK and went out to our network and found the right person to lead it — a guy called Justin Basini who used to work for me at CapitalOne.”
US-based Credit Karma, which also gives free credit scores, recently raised $US175 million (£112 million) at an $US3 billion (£1.92 billion) valuation. Cobley says Brightbridge is committing at least £10 million ($US15.6 million) to ClearScore right now to make it a success.