Aktos, a start-up software company building a collection platform, announced yesterday that it has raised $4.4 million in a seed round that was backed by 8VC and Crew Capital.
In a release announcing the investment and featuring comments from several Aktos customers, the company said it is taking the collections industry “by storm” and that the companies in the industry are being crippled by having to use “outdated” software.
“Most collection agencies are small businesses run by honest, hard-working folks who play an underappreciated yet critical role in the US economy,” said Peter Wang, the chief executive of Aktos, in a statement. “But they’re being crippled by their outdated software, and are forced to rely on DOS-based and AS400-based systems that were built 20-30 years ago.”
The company says its software is a step up from legacy software systems because it features a full suite of API integrations, and has a workflow automation center that acts as the “brain” of a collection operation. Companies can see a reduction of at least 80% in “menial work,” the company claims. It says it will use the funds it raised to accelerate its mission of building a “modern AI-powered operating system” for the debt collection industry.
“We are competing with incumbent software that’s 30 to 40 years old,” Wang said in a published report. “The [software] these debt collectors are using — they can’t even run these programs on Windows laptops, because the programs predate Windows.”
Noting that the existing technology in the industry “does not allow agencies to provide a consumer-first experience,” Aktos said its mission is to provide a platform “that combines intuitive user-friendliness with enterprise readiness that can serve agencies of all sizes.”
“It’s all about the consumer experience,” said Aktos advisor Justin Miller, former President of Vital Solutions. “Consumers don’t want to deal with collectors that accidentally call them at the wrong times, or that send them letters when they prefer email. They want validating and paying off their debts to resemble a modern eCommerce experience—no one wants to mail in checks and open letters anymore. At the end of the day, Aktos makes the collections process more efficient and compliant for collectors, and in doing so facilitates a more streamlined and positive customer journey for repayment.”