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  • Credit
  • Innovation
  • Players’ Strategy
  • United States

Upgrade Closes Significant Series C Funding

The US consumer lending platform Upgrade announces a $62 million funding round led by the Chinese VC CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund. This investment will help the FinTech improve their range of products, including Personal Credit Line introduced a few months ago.

Upgrade was founded two years ago. They report 100,000 customers and over $1 billion in issued loans (the average loan size is roughly $10,000). The applied APR is fixed, which means it drastically differs from typical credit card issuers’ offers –where variable interest rates are applied. Upgrade now hires 300 people.

This $62 million funding will help enhance their credit-related services, as well as further focus on risk management, compliance, and on crafting innovative products, such as “Personal Credit Line”. With this service customers can be granted up to $50,000 (over 12 to 60 months, with 6.46% to 35.90% APR applied). Yet another underway project, Upgrade intends to stress educational monitoring tools (Credit Health).

This investment will also help Upgrade address more customer segments, different from their founder’s initial targets. Renaud Laplanche used to target younger customers looking to build a credit history.

Comments – Ongoing success story

Upgrade was created after its founder, Renaud Laplanche, resigned in 2016 from LendingClub. Upgrade is gaining ground as they focus on specific subprime, higher-risk profiles. This choice allowed them to secure their market position and attract investors. They now seem to be aiming for all customer segments, while still addressing higher-risk targets.

With this funding round, Upgrade’s valuation reaches $500 million. They now try to improve their tools and technologies by way of reassuring both borrowers and investors.