If you are searching for video games midday on the Internet in Beijing be careful, you may have just lowered your credit score. The Chinese search juggernaut, Baidu, has invested an undisclosed amount in online lender, ZestFinance. As there is not as much credit data available and no central credit bureau in China, the partnership should be key in attaining more data for ZestFinance's credit algorithm.
Founded by former Google GOOGL -0.26% veteran Douglas Merrill, ZestFinance launched three years ago to apply big data analyses to credit scoring and help lenders more accurately evaluate prospective borrowers. Instead of determining credit worthiness based on 10 to 15 pieces of data, ZestFinance uses tens of thousands of data points to assess in a matter of seconds a borrower’s ability to pay back loans. To date, ZestFinance has raised $272 million in funding.