Laidlaw Scholars Ventures

Our Portfolio – Sable

Providing Opportunity for Everyone in Banking

Sable are providing access to credit and financial inclusion to those in the US that have thin or no credit histories. They help these individuals develop their profile through secured products, using the data generated by their activity to “graduate” into unsecured credit products. Through this process their customers build their credit scores enabling them to access a broad range of other services (e.g rental agreements, mobile phone contracts, etc) and thereby breaking down this barrier to access.

Why We Invested

Sable’s mission is to facilitate financial inclusion and open the banks’ black box that many find intimidating when thinking about their own credit, by guiding their customers through the behaviours they need to demonstrate to be creditworthy. Founder and Laidlaw Scholar Naveen Qureshi encountered this problem when she moved to NYC to complete her MBA at Columbia and discovered that despite a strong credit history in Canada, she was unable to get a credit card in the US. Even after her graduation, she still did not have the eligibility for a US card, as she had not started on a credit-building journey. Realising this was a huge problem, she teamed up with co-Founder and co-CEO Towers Wilen, and together they launched Sable.

They moved to San Jose and completed Y Combinator, the US’s most illustrious startup accelerator, and since then have managed to attract over 400,000 account holders in just over a year of their full launch. They have done this by offering this neglected market segment a premium product offering with quick opening of accounts, access to the platform before clients even arrive in the US, rewards and cashback, and importantly, their credit builder that helps clients build their credit score from day one.  

The growth that the business is experiencing right now is extremely exciting, but the main reason we invested in Sable was to support their highly experienced and driven management team to deliver. They have experience across American Express, Capital One, McKinsey and Stash, to name just a few sector titans and startups.

The importance of building a credit score in the US is far more extensive than it is in several other countries. Access to services such as mobile phone contracts or rental agreements is often linked to your credit score, so without the ability to use a credit card or develop your credit history, several other products and services become harder to access, perpetuating the inequality.

Sable is seeking to break this cycle, and we are thrilled to be on their journey to develop borderless banking for a more connected world. If you are moving to the US or are a resident with limited credit history, they will support you in achieving financial freedom.

About the Laidlaw Scholar

Prior to founding Sable, Naveen Qureshi completed her MBA as a Laidlaw Scholar at Columbia Business School. Upon moving to New York, she discovered that despite a strong credit history in Canada, she was unable to get a credit card in the US. When she met co-Founder and co-CEO Towers Wilen in class, they realized the magnitude of this problem, and together they launched Sable. They moved to San Jose and completed Y Combinator, the US’s most illustrious start-up accelerator, and have since managed to attract over 400,000 account holders in just over a year of their full launch.

Laidlaw Foundation