It all started with a cold LinkedIn message back in 2016. The co-founder of the (then) tiny startup Nova Credit, Nicky Goulimis, reached out to an executive at American Express to discuss a potential partnership. It was an audacious move but one that, three years later, has paid tremendous dividends for the company.
First, some background. Nova Credit is an award-winning startup (they were the 2017 PitchIt @ LendIt winner) trying to solve what has been an intractable problem. New immigrants, no matter how great their credit was in their home country, are treated like subprime borrowers with no credit history when applying for credit in this country. In today’s interconnected world this is just crazy.
I lived this problem firsthand when I first moved to this country many years ago. So, did the co-founders of Nova Credit and they decided to do something about it. I spoke with Nicky Goulimis, their COO, yesterday to find out how they were able to win over American Express and establish this groundbreaking new partnership.
After that initial message Nova Credit found a receptive audience in American Express. Nicky said, “They immediately grasped what we were trying to do. Our vision of creating a world beyond borders aligns with American Express’s promise to back its cardmembers, wherever they might hail from.” American Express recognized right away that this was a pain point for many potential American Express customers who were prime consumers back in their home country.