January, more commonly known in the industry as Debtsy, has raised $10 million to help it achieve its goal of becoming a “tech-enabled collections agency service that collects the debt on behalf of creditors in a civilized way,” according to a published report.
The company, which has been in business since 2016, was founded by Jake Cahan, and aims to be a one-stop recovery platform for creditors and eliminate consumers being treated as “criminals” by collecting “at scale in a really compliant manner or really compassionate but still really effective manner,” Cahan said in the report.
The company claims to be a safe harbor for creditors, many of which are becoming increasingly concerned with brand reputation and publicity when outsourcing debt collection to third-party agencies.
“What I saw is that you have debt settlement firms on one side of the table being really antagonistic to creditors, and then you have collection agencies on the other side of the table, being very antagonistic to consumers,” Cahan said in the report. “And so I was looking to see ‘How can we solve what’s objectively one of the most broken and antiquated parts of consumer finance?’ And that led to me wanting to start a company in this space.”
Similar to third party agencies, January makes money on contingency based on the funds it collects from consumers. The report says the company is currently collecting on behalf of Baxter Credit Union, Octane, Alliant and RBFCU, another credit union. The company tripled its revenue in 2021 and is aiming to grow the company to 70 employees by year’s end, from 37 currently. The report mentions TrueAccord to provide a frame of reference for the type of company and collection strategy being used by January. One investor said his firm chose to back January because “it solved the root cause of every problem in debt collection — trust.”