Upstart, the leading artificial intelligence (AI) lending platform, today announced a $50M equity investment from Progressive Investment Company Inc., Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan, and First National Bank of Omaha.
Upstart has raised more than $160M since inception and has more than $100M in cash and equity capital on hand. Additionally, Upstart will be the newest offering in the Progressive portfolio of Advantage Products, which are third-party products offered to meet consumers’ changing needs. Upstart loans will be available through www.progressive.com in the near future.
“We started on this journey because credit is not just a cornerstone of our economy but a fundamental ingredient in the lives of Americans,” said Dave Girouard, Upstart co-founder and CEO and former president of Google Enterprise. “For hundreds of years, credit has represented opportunity and mobility for those seeking what’s next in their lives. Whether it’s to learn a new skill, to relocate to a new city, to start a new business, or to buy a new home or car, the price of credit is the price of opportunity and mobility. It’s the price of what’s next.”
Upstart co-founder Paul Gu added, “Credit is generally overpriced and unfairly distributed, because it relies on techniques developed before the advent of modern computing. But technology and data science, in the form of AI, have the opportunity to change all of that.”
After more than $3.3B in loans originated in the last five years, Upstart has demonstrated loss rates less than half those of peer platforms for borrowers with similar FICO scores. Furthermore, a study comparing Upstart’s model to those of several large U.S. banks showed that Upstart could cut their loan losses by three-quarters or almost triple their approval rates.*
Thus far in 2019, more than 60% of Upstart originations were entirely automated and approved in real time, an unprecedented feat in installment lending. On the back of strong unit economics and exceptional credit performance, Upstart grew revenues by about 80% in 2018 and reached profitability in the second half of the year.
Upstart’s business is designed not to compete with banks but to partner with them. Upstart launched its first partnerships with Customers Bank and its BankMobile division. Today, the company announced it has signed “Powered by Upstart” partnership agreements with First National Bank of Omaha, First Federal Bank of Kansas City and Accion Chicago. With Powered by Upstart, banks and other lenders can leverage Upstart’s AI platform in the form of a white-labeled lending application to power their own lending programs. The Powered by Upstart platform allows banks and other lenders to enforce their own credit policy and lending terms while benefiting from Upstart’s patent-pending risk modeling and automation.
“We chose to partner with Upstart because their approach to modernizing lending is well aligned with FNBO’s focus on a customer-centric experience,” said Marc Butterfield, senior vice president of enterprise digital solutions and emerging business at First National Bank of Omaha. “Upstart’s AI/ML-based pricing engine and automation will allow us to profitably serve a broader set of customers, within a great digital onboarding experience, than we could before.”
“Our mission at First Federal Bank of Kansas City is to help people build a better financial future,” said J.R. Buckner, president and CEO of First Federal Bank of Kansas City. “Fulfilling this mission means we must find innovative new ways to more effectively engage with current and prospective customers. Our partnership with Upstart is a key part of this strategy and will allow us to extend our products and services to a broader customer base that is more digitally savvy.”
“Accion Chicago’s mission is to help neighborhood entrepreneurs grow, which is why we provide our low-cost microloans to minority- and women-owned businesses who create jobs and wealth in underserved communities throughout Illinois and Indiana,” said Brad McConnell, CEO of Accion Chicago. “We believe that partnering with Upstart is the most creative, careful, and cost-effective way to lend to these inspirational small business owners that other lenders overlook.”
While personal loans are the fastest growing segment of credit, they’re far from the largest. With this equity round completed, Upstart expects to expand its AI platform to other types of credit. The company recently launched the first ever Upstart-powered credit cards with Customers Bank’s BankMobile division. Upstart partnered with BankMobile to develop two credit cards: the BankMobile Classic Mastercard and the BankMobile Rewards Mastercard, both available now via online application.
“We were excited to partner with Upstart as their vision of making credit more accessible aligns with our focus on low-cost banking services to low/middle-income Americans who have been left behind by the high-fee model of ‘traditional’ banks,” stated Luvleen Sidhu, Co-Founder, President and Chief Strategy Officer at BankMobile. “Upstart’s focus on automating the customer experience combined with their modeling capabilities further our goal of adding breadth to our growing banking products and services available to our customer base.”
Upstart CEO Dave Girouard will be on stage with Marc Butterfield, SVP from First National Bank of Omaha, at 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9 at LendIt Fintech USA 2019, taking place in San Francisco, California.
Labuan IBFC’s Financial Services Community Band Together to Contribute to the Relief Efforts in Combating COVID-19
Labuan International Business and Financial Centre, Labuan IBFC’s financial services and intermediation community have come together to assist local authorities in relief efforts via the pooling of resources.
Labuan IBFC’s Cross-Industry Group comprising of all the industry associations representing licensed entities in the jurisdiction has led the formation of a pool fund, focused on providing relief to frontliners and those less fortunate in Labuan.
This Cross-Industry Group consists of Labuan Financial Services Authority, Labuan International Insurance Association, Association of Labuan Banks, Association of Labuan Trust Companies, Labuan Investment Banking Group and the Labuan Fintech Association.
The Labuan IBFC Community is deeply concerned about the growing scale of the COVID-19 pandemic and its social and economic impact, particularly on Labuan island. Specifically, this resource pool will fund towards the purchase and distribution of personal protective equipment for hospital staff, healthcare providers, and other frontline service personnel on the island.
Relief, in the form of household necessities, will also be provided to those in the B40 income group and to daily wage earners who are impacted by the situation, as well as schools and small businesses.
The above effort is testament of the commitment and empathy of the Labuan IBFC community towards the people of Labuan island, by providing whatever assistance it can to relieve hardships under the current situation.
SOURCE Labuan IBFC
Demand Wealth Launches the Nation’s First Investment Platform Designed to Align Financial Goals and Personal Values
Demand Wealth received an undisclosed seven figure investment from FinTech Private Equity firm Niche Investment Partners LLC. providing investors with an alternative to broad or often misleading investment portfolios*, the Demand Wealth platform promotes transparency and respect for every American’s voice; allowing clients to invest according to their political, religious, and ethical convictions along with specialized portfolios designed for specific life stages (e.g. newlyweds, divorce or family death).
Demand Wealth is a first-of-its-kind platform created to provide investors frictionless access to ultra -niche investment portfolios and a free or paid set of full-service financial planning tools; providing ethical and situational peace-of-mind.
Investing in companies with shared values is one of the most underutilized tools for change held by the public. Demand Wealth reminds clients that powerful corporations are built on the investments of average Americans. Investing money in places you believe deserve your support reflects the backbone that America has at her core.
“Our goal is to help everyday Americans put the power of their wallet to use by investing according to their conscience” says Brandon Mink, President at Demand Wealth. “We know how important it is to put each individual’s hard-earned money onto the balance sheets of companies they believe in, to not only see significant portfolio returns, but know that those returns will come from companies they can be proud of.”
The company was created with several goals in mind, including:
- To manage money as effectively as any traditional investment firm, while helping clients keep more of their portfolio return. Demand Wealth keeps costs at a fraction of their competitors’, while providing comprehensive personal services expected anywhere else; by embracing the digital, paperless world and utilizing the most up to date security and privacy protocol.
- To provide personalized portfolios that allow our clients to align their capital with their values for varying risk profiles and stages of life.
- Most importantly, to inform Americans that the money in their retirement plan (e.g. 401k) seldomly aligns with their beliefs, even when invested with a like-minded advisor*. Demand Wealth remains transparent with where your money is going and provides a more impactful and personalized portfolio than what is currently available at any other investment firm today.
“Clients are demanding more from their wealth managers. They want greater customization of their portfolio without compromising the service they have become accustomed to at larger traditional firms”, says Wade Ellison, Chief Operating Officer at Demand Wealth.
SOURCE Demand Wealth
Carver Edison Announces Expansion of Leadership Team, Gregory Barton Joins as Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel
Carver Edison, a New York City-based financial technology company that helps provide financial opportunity to public company employees through its patented technology, has announced the addition of Gregory Barton to the company’s executive leadership team. Barton most recently served as Chief Legal Officer, and before that as Chief Operating Officer, of Wisdom Tree Investments, Inc. a leading ETF sponsor with $50 billion of assets under management.
With more than two decades of experience in executive positions for founder-led public companies in the technology, asset management and digital media industries, Barton will serve in a key leadership capacity as Carver Edison expands to meet growing client demand.
“Greg is joining our leadership team at an important moment for our company,” said Aaron Shapiro, founder of Carver Edison. “As we continue to grow, his deep operational, legal and public company board expertise will help us serve our clients and expand our reach. We’re excited to have Greg join the team.”
“Cashless Participation™ solves for major shortfalls in Employee Stock Purchase Plans and I am thrilled to bring my experience in multiple C-suite roles to the team,” said Barton. “The company has received significant backing from notable financial technology entrepreneurs and investors, which is a testament to the executive team’s vision and focus. I look forward to helping Carver Edison continue to execute on its mission.”
Among his roles prior to joining Wisdom Tree Investments in 2012, Barton served as Executive Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs, General Counsel and Secretary of TheStreet, Inc., co-founded by Jim Cramer. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School (magna cum laude) and the Claremont McKenna College (summa cum laude).
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