Kinder, gentler debt collector TrueAccord raises $22 million

Bringing debt collection into the age of the soft touch, email and text-based world of the 21st century has netted TrueAccord $22 million in a new round of funding.

I first wrote about the company three years ago (time flies) and since then the company has added a 70 new customers and is managing the debt of roughly 1.8 million individuals and businesses (to the tune of approximately $1.6 billion).

Then as now, the company promised a softer collecting style than the typical harassing phone calls of the debt collection agencies of yore.

The company communicates via email, text messaging and social media (which, to my mind, exchanges one kind of persistent hell for another).

“You can think of TrueAccord like a marketing and sales campaign, just for debt collection,” Ohad Samet wrote to me in an email. “You get our first communication based on your debt parameters (one of several possible emails), and then based on your behavior (emails opened, text messages you reply to, browsing pattern on our website, conversation with our call center) the system continues to personalize the experience in channel, frequency, tone, and payment arrangement until it finds something that works for you.”

Through TrueAccord a user can negotiate down their debt burden (if they’re in financial distress) or get a personalized payment plan. Users can also ask for more documents, report bankruptcy, browse on their mobile devices, and get updates on the status of their debt.

Using algorithms (because who doesn’t), the company also reduces the number of times it reaches out to a customer to an average of three per-week from several calls a week, according to the company.

The company’s growth reeled in Arbor Ventures Fund as the lead investor for the round, with additional money coming from Nyca Investment Partnership, Assurant Growth Investing, Caffeinated Capital Fund, Felicis Venture, TenOneTen and Crystal Towers, according to a statement.

The company said it would use the new money for product development, building out its internal auditing and compliance capabilities and expanding into markets.

“TrueAccord is redefining the debt collections industry through a digital approach for debt recovery,” said Melissa Guzy, co-founder and managing partner at Arbor Ventures. “This unique approach is making a positive impact on an overlooked industry ripe for innovation and empowering many of the estimated 77 million people in debt to get on a path to better financial health.”