NEW YORK, Nov. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — FairPlay, the world’s first “Fairness-as-a-Service” solution for algorithmic decision-making, today announced that they have raised $4.5M in seed investment funding. The round was led by Third Prime Capital, with participation from FinVC, TTV, Financial Venture Studio, Amara, and Nevcaut Ventures.
FairPlay is an AI fairness solution for any company that uses algorithms to make high stakes decisions about people’s lives. Today, decisions about who gets a loan, a job interview, a kidney transplant and more are increasingly made by algorithms, and many of them are replicating the discrimination of the past.
FairPlay’s tools make it simple for anyone to embed fairness considerations into their algorithms with tools that are fast, affordable and easy to use. The software answers 5 key questions for customers: 1) Is my algorithm biased? 2) If so, why? 3) Could it be fairer? 4) What is the economic impact of being fairer? 5) Did we give our declines a Second Look to see if they resemble good applicants on dimensions we haven’t heavily considered?
“Just as we built search infrastructure and payments infrastructure for the Internet, so must we build fairness infrastructure for the Internet,” says FairPlay Founder & CEO Kareem Saleh. “FairPlay turns fairness into a business advantage, allowing our users to de-bias digital decisions in real-time and prove to their customers, regulators and the public that they’re taking strong steps to be fair. In short, FairPlay makes fairness pay.”
FairPlay is going to market in financial services with two APIs. The first API provides Fairness Analysis, analyzing a lending model’s inputs, outputs and outcomes to provide insights into whether disparities exist and for which protected groups.
The second API, called Second Look, re-underwrites declined loan applications using cutting-edge AI fairness techniques that are designed to do a better job of assessing borrowers from underserved groups. These techniques can determine whether declined applicants resemble “good” borrowers in ways that the primary algorithm did not strongly consider. The result is that more applicants of color, women and other historically disadvantaged people are approved.
“As a lender, financial inclusion is deeply important to us,” says Rory Birmingham, Chief Compliance Officer at Figure Technologies. “We started using FairPlay and it’s been an incredible resource. The FairPlay product is intuitive, easy to use and hugely beneficial for lenders like us who aim to be best-in-class on fairness and inclusion.”
The funding from this round will go towards the continued growth and development of the FairPlay team of machine learning engineers and data scientists.
“We’re really excited about our investment in FairPlay,” says Keith Hamlin, Managing Partner at Third Prime. “For even the most conscientious and diligent of lenders and marketers, algorithmic bias presents a complex and persistent challenge that is rife with reputational and regulatory risk. FairPlay’s solution debiases algorithmic underwriting and decision making, enabling its clients to navigate increasing regulatory scrutiny, rapidly iterate new and existing products, and actually deliver on the promise of fairness, inclusion and upward mobility for modern families and communities.”
Fairplay is also announcing the launch of its Mortgage Fairness Monitor, a detailed and data-driven map of how fair the mortgage market is to Black Americans, women and Hispanic Americans based on a review of 20 major metropolitan areas in the U.S. FairPlay is releasing a ranking of these 20 major American cities based on their mortgage fairness for the above groups. (All results are based on 2020 data. The control group for female, Black homebuyers & Hispanic homebuyers is white male homebuyers. The control group for Millennial & Baby Boomer homebuyers is Gen X homebuyers.)
Results from the Mortgage Fairness Monitor:
- The following 5 U.S. cities were the fairest for Black homebuyers (ranked from most fair to least fair): Los Angeles, CA; Portland, OR; Las Vegas, NV; San Francisco, CA; Phoenix, AZ.
- The following 5 U.S. cities were the LEAST fair for Black homebuyers (ranked from most unfair to least unfair): Cleveland, OH; Detroit, MI; Chicago, IL; Miami, FL; Atlanta, GA.
- The following 5 U.S. cities were the fairest for female homebuyers: Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; Las Vegas, NV; San Diego, CA; Portland, OR.
- The following 5 U.S. cities were the fairest for Hispanic homebuyers: Miami, FL; Los Angeles, CA; Phoenix, AZ; San Diego, CA; Las Vegas, NV.
- The following 5 U.S. cities were the fairest for Millennial homebuyers: New York, NY; Miami, FL; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Tampa, FL.
- The following 5 U.S. cities were the fairest for Baby Boomer homebuyers: Phoenix, AZ; Las Vegas, NV; Charlotte, NC; Minneapolis, MN; San Diego, CA.
To learn more, please visit https://www.fair-play.ai/.
Fairplay is the world’s first “Fairness-as-a-Service” solution for fair lending compliance in the US. The company provides lenders with simple and easy-to-use tools that assess and reduce bias in lending algorithms. Fairplay was founded on the premise that algorithmic discrimination is a massive problem that must be solved by building modern fairness infrastructure for the Internet, to assess and lessen biases in every algorithm used to make a high-stakes decision about people’s lives.