Today General Motors Financial announced that it’s collaborating with Spring Labs, the blockchain startup which aims to be the Equifax killer. The initial work will focus on identity verification and synthetic identity fraud which usually involves a criminal using some real stolen data and combining that with entirely fake data to create a new identity or a blended identity.
“As the captive finance arm for General Motors and one of the world’s largest auto finance providers, we are continually innovating and evolving our fraud prevention and detection capabilities to better serve and protect our customers and dealers,” said Mike Kanarios, Chief Strategy Officer at GM Financial.
Spring labs has a Spring Founding Industry Partners (“SFIP”) Program which GM is joining. Last month the startup announced that 16 organizations which helped fund more than $100 billion in loans had joined the program. They include SoFi, OnDeck Capital, Avant, GreenSky, Funding Circle, BlueVine, Fundation, Upgrade, Fundbox, and Better Mortgage.
The blockchain platform aims to enable lenders, banks, and data providers to securely and efficiently exchange information directly with each other while maintaining the privacy of the underlying data. In other words, the intention is to cut out the middleman like Equifax. The initial focus is on exchanging identity, fraud and risk information amongst financial institutions.
Last March the startup raised $14.75 million in a seed funding round led by August Capital. It has a dozen people on its advisory team, every one of them is a heavyweight. For example, advisers include the former chair of the FDIC Sheila Bair, former COO of Oracle Ray Lane, Co-founder of Capital One Nigel Morris and Gary Cohn, the former president of Goldman Sachs.
The founding executive team led by CEO Adam Jiwan is behind the online consumer lending platform Avant. They aim to kickstart early growth by leveraging the relationship with Avant which provides services to several large banks in the United States. They’re in discussions with banks about adopting the Spring Network alongside Avant’s bank-focused product.
What Spring Labs is trying to achieve is in some ways similar to a specialist version of the Sovrin Network, the self-sovereign identity network that aims to enable consumers to keep control over their data.