GIP-14: Credit Analysis Grant Pilot

Authors : Jaou Toure and Blake West

Summary :
The Goldfinch community should allocate 4,000 USDC from the Goldfinch Treasury to run a pilot of the Credit Analysis Grant and compensate community members to write two Credit Analysis Memos for each of the next two borrower pools.

Motivation :
Kicking off the Credit Analysis Grant program will help synthesize the data available to the community to evaluate borrower pools, further the decentralization of the protocol and strengthen the engagement of the Goldfinch community by compensating members for their contributions.

  • Decentralization is key to the growth and sustainability of the Goldfinch protocol. Establishing a grant program is important to ensure Goldfinch can continue mobilizing its community and incentivize community members to perform productive roles that benefit the protocol. Establishing a first pilot for a grant program around Credit Analysis will enable Goldfinch to test the key operational aspects needed to run grants effectively at scale.
  • The Credit Analysis function is a priority for increasing community participation in the protocol.
    Compensating Credit Analysts in the Goldfinch community to write and publish Credit Analysis Memos is a critical step in the engagement of the community to collectively analyze the risks and opportunities of borrower pools on the protocol. The vision here is to build foundations to support the “trust by consensus” mechanisms outlined in the White Paper.
  • A large number of prospective community members interested in participating in the Goldfinch protocol are not trained to evaluate credit opportunities in emerging markets.
    Packaging the information in an easily digestible format and publishing investment memos written by credit professionals can help investors learn collectively how to decipher and interpret the information at their disposal to form their own informed opinions about borrower pools.
  • The raw information in data rooms (i.e., legal tenders, financial statements) is very dense and complex, thus making it challenging for some community members to make informed financial decisions. This Credit Analysis Pilot can help us test whether or not having access to easily digestible Credit Analysis Memos (in addition to the raw data and legal tenders in the data room) could empower more backers to make informed decisions that fit the risk/reward profile of their own investment strategy.

Requirements & Specification :

Key Requirements :
The Credit Analysis Grant Pilot is the first iteration of what could become a larger Goldfinch community grants program. All user requirements listed below should be considered as test features that will be modified if they are ineffective to run the program at scale or will be made permanent if they are effective at doing so.

Tentative implementation steps for the pilot :

  • The Credit Analysis Grant is announced and open for application
  • Credit professionals in the GF community apply to write Credit Analysis Memos on the next two upcoming borrower pools
  • As part of their application, credit professional candidates provide their CV/LinkedIn profile and a sample of previous work
  • Goldfinch’s Credit Analysis Grant Committee (see below the goal and structure of the Credit Analysis Grant Committee in the pilot phase) reviews applications, interviews the best candidates and selects Credit Analysts to write two Credit Analysis Memos on each of the next two borrower pools (after this proposal is passed)
  • For the next two borrower pools when borrowers make the data rooms publicly available, the Credit Analysts access all information and documents in the data rooms and have conversations on public forums (i.e., Discord, Telegram) with borrowers to gather the data needed for their analyses
  • The Credit Analysts submit draft credit memos within a week
  • The Goldfinch Credit Analysis Grant Committee reviews the draft Credit Analysis Memos and may provide some comments and suggestions for edit
  • The Credit Analysts finalize their Credit Analysis Memos
  • The Credit Analysts make each Credit Analysis Memo accessible to the broader Goldfinch community by posting them on the Governance Forum and referencing them on the Goldfinch the Dapp
  • The Credit Analysts are compensated for their contributions to the protocol and broader community


  • Process and Governance :

    • A Credit Analysis Grant Committee made of three credit experts in the Goldfinch community will be established for the duration of the pilot
    • This Credit Analysis Grant Committee is not a permanent governance structure. It is an interim mechanism established solely for the purpose of the pilot as a kick-starter for this initial experiment
    • A more permanent governance of the Credit Analysis Grant can be established after the pilot if the pilot is successful and the community wants to scale this program. The decision to establish a permanent Credit Analysis Grant Committee will be subject to community approval.
    • The responsibilities of the Credit Analysis Grant Committee are restricted to :
      • Interviews of credit professionals in the Goldfinch Community applying to the Credit Analysis Grant
      • Selection of Credit Analysts among applicants interviewed to write Credit Analysis Memos
      • Sign-off on final Credit Analysis Memos and compensation of Credit Analysts
    • The members of the interim Credit Analysis Grant Committee are :
      • Azer Songnaba, AlloyX : Co-founder of AlloyX and experience doing diligence on Goldfinch borrower pools. Azer has deep experience with financial markets, in particular Credit. He has five years experience at Goldman Sachs and seven at Mastercard
      • Gautam Ivatury, Almavest : Managing Partner of credit fund Almavest and a member of the Goldfinch Governance Council. He has two decades of experience as a startup founder and investor, with a focus on fintech
      • Aaron Collett, Warbler Labs : Senior Credit Manager at Warbler Labs with experience investing across asset classes (private debt, private equity, venture capital), including at fintech credit fund Lendable and as a credit risk analyst at Goldman Sachs
  • Ideal Profile of Credit Analysts:
    The selection criteria to select the Credit Analysts include :

    • 5+ years experience in debt underwriting, either direct investing or fund-of-funds
    • Finance education background preferred
    • Experience in senior debt investing in early-stage fintechs
    • Experience in underwriting deals in emerging markets
    • Outstanding written communication skills
  • Sample Format of Credit Analysis Memo:
    Credit Analysis Memos will follow a specific format. A template and an example will be shared with Credit Analysts.
    Credit Analysis Memos [2-3 page report] will be structured as follows:
    Summary [3-5 lines]
    - Highlights and investment thesis
    - Risks and potential mitigation measures
    Overview [1 page]
    - Team, geography, industry
    - Deal summary and terms
    - Product (i.e., asset type, average tenor, average APR, average loan size, are loans secured)
    - Goldfinch mission alignment
    Credit Analysis [1-2 pages]
    - Historical Financials (i.e., balance sheet, financial statements)
    - Portfolio Performance (i.e., total amount of loans originated to date, current loans outstanding / or AUM for funds, default rate / or loss rate for funds)
    - Deal Structural Diagram (i.e., showing end to end structure from Goldfinch to ultimate end borrower)
    - Risk (i.e., macro and country risk, credit risk, counter-party risk, legal risk, operational risk)

  • Indicative budget:

    • The total budget of the pilot is 4,000 USDC
    • The 4,000 USDC budget comes from the Goldfinch Treasury
    • Each Credit Analysis Memo will be compensated 1,000 USDC
    • The pilot will cover four Credit Analysis Memos in total:
      • the next two borrower pools will be included in the pilot
      • for each borrower pool, two memos will be written by two different Credit Analysts

Drawbacks and Risks:
There is a risk that the community does not find the Credit Analysis Memos useful in deciding whether or not to provide capital to the protocol.

The Credit Analysis Memos are for informational purposes only. Goldfinch community members may choose to review Credit Analysis Memos to inform their own analysis of borrower pools; however, the information and opinions contained in Credit Analysis Memos are not and should not be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

YES vote: Allocate $4,000 USDC from Goldfinch Treasury to run a Credit Analysis Grant pilot and establish the interim Credit Analysis Grant Committee.
NO vote: Do not allocate resources from Goldfinch Treasury to perform a Credit Analysis Grant pilot and do not establish the interim Credit Analysis Grant Committee.


I think it could be a good basis for community involvement and incentives. If it’s agreed, I will try to take part in preparing Credit Analysis Memo.

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If in future there would such initiatives as well, It could be also useful to provide proper feedback to potential candidates. so that if they were not chosen, they could understand their areas for development

A movement in the right direction, as there needs to be some kind of decentralized credit risk assessment function. That being said, with a view of more distant future, you will need to:
a. Devise a system whereby responsible credit analyst is selected for a given pool
b. The compensation of that credit analyst is staggered in line with performance of the pool over time. Given that credit analyst comp is delayed in time you will need to consider increasing such compensation to make that reward meaningful to contributors.

$4,000 is not a huge amount, but I think there are some more things added to the proposal. There should be some type of success metrics implemented in this plan.

What happens if the items above are not completed? What’s the timeframe to accomplish this?

What happens if it is successful? What’s next?

IMO I think one of the members of the committee should be a lending expert in the credit union space. I think this because credit unions are not-for-profit organizations and operate in a DAO-like manner. They look at things from the perspective of what is the in the best interest for the requester based on a number of factors; there is also the “keep-the-lights-on” aspect, but the primary focus is on the requester. This idea and proposed addition to this grant aligns with the decentralization principle.

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Great points!
Credit Unions can definitely be a source of inspiration for certain aspects.
To answer your questions:
(1) Credit Analysts will be expected to complete the memos within a week and their first draft will be reviewed by the committee who will potentially provide feedback for them to address before memos are finalized.
(2) If this pilot is successful, we hope to scale the Credit Analysis Grant program such that every borrower pool going forward would have Credit Analysis Memos available to Goldfinch investors when it goes live.

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It’s true that in the future, we could imagine a compensation mechanism that reflects a longer term alignment with the specific borrower pool (e.g., delayed payment) and with the overall protocol (e.g., GFI rewards).
But it’s important to keep in mind that Credit Analysts are not providing investment advice (every investor on the protocol is ultimately solely responsible for their own investment decisions). Credit Analysts provide professional analysis and synthesis of the financial information at their disposal to help Goldfinch investors make better informed decisions.

Yes, exactly.
We’re looking forward to your application to the Credit Analysis Grant and hoping to get applications from many credit professionals across the Goldfinch community.

Completely agreed - this is a great direction, potentially replacing the Auditor role listed in the white paper. However, $4k (even for one credit analyst) is no where near market for an independent credit analyst to take a look at a pool (which will likely actually be ~3 different deals).

Perhaps what might make more sense, for the first few pools, to have an allocation from the treasury authorized to hire an existing TradFi third party valuations firm to produce a more thorough report. This will likely be more pricier than $4k, but will at least set the bar for the community

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I am new to this protocol, I think this is a great direction to go for better intial credit underwirting. One question would like to know is since most loans extended are 3-4 years tenor, is there any framework or plan for a credit annual review/ credit monitoring process for borrowers.

I believe, that this is a very good proposal to further develop both the community and the protocol. I can assume, that it will help to engage current high-quality community members and attract new ones, providing them with an opportunity to apply knowledge and experise in credit analysis.

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Yes, the community is constantly looking to create new mechanisms to increase transparency. Check out GIP-16 : GIP 16 - Oblige Goldfinch protocol borrowers (namely, credit funds) to submit monthly credit reports to GFI community - #2 by yog

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Yes, you’re right! It’s the goal of this proposal.

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Council has approved the proposal!


I think that’s great to train for specific roles