LendUp Tops $2 Billion in Consumer Loans Mark

Photo by Nina Uhlíková from Pexels

Since its launch in 2011, socially responsible lender LendUp has surpassed $2 billion in consumer financing via its digital lending platform. This represents 6.5+ million loans, with an average loan value of $300.

“We’re very proud of this significant lending accomplishment, the progress we’ve made in driving disciplined, profitable, and sustainable growth, and our role as a standard bearer for responsible and inclusive lending and banking,” LendUp CEO Anu Shultes said.

One of the fintechs to embrace early the concept of financial wellness, LendUp combines access to financing via its short-term installment loans. The company offers financial education and a specific-but-personalized strategy to help consumers improve their credit, the LendUp Ladder. This resource uses gamification, education, and good borrower behavior to enable borrowers to earn points that allow them to apply for larger loan amounts at better rates. The company notes that its customers have taken more than two million financial education courses via its platform.

“Through our lending, education, and savings programs, we’ve helped customers raise their credit profiles by hundreds of thousands of points cumulatively and saved them hundreds of millions of dollars in interest and fees from much higher cost products,” Shultes explained. She added that the $2 billion mark was a “real testament to the impact that financial service providers like LendUp can and should have on the market.”

It’s worth noting that this week’s announcement comes on the one-year anniversary of Shultes’ appointment as CEO; Shultes took over the company last January from co-founder Sasha Orloff. Shultes was formerly LendUp’s GM and has been credited for helping grow the company’s loan originations to more than 5.5 million.

LendUp demonstrated its financing platform at FinovateSpring 2014. The San Francisco, California-based company has raised more than $360 million in funding from investors including PayPal Ventures and Victory Park Capital. The company spun-off its credit card business, Mission Lane, as a stand-alone entity a year ago, which has allowed LendUp to focus on its lending and financial wellness businesses.

New Investment for LendUp Spurs Credit Card Spin Off 

San Francisco, California-based LendUp has picked up funding from LL Funds LLC, Invus Opportunities, and QED Investors.

As part of the investment, the company will spin off its credit card business, Mission Lane, as a separate, stand-alone entity. The transition will enable LendUp to focus on personal loans, gamified financial education, and savings. The company’s credit card business – as well as its IP, technology platform, and staff – will comprise Mission Lane. Vijesh Iyer, LendUp COO, will serve as interim CEO of the new company.

“While most of the financial services industry is aimed at the prime and near-prime end of the credit spectrum, these moves set not just one, but two companies up for long-term success,” explained Frank Rotmann, QED Investors co-founder. “Now LendUp and Mission Lane are better positioned to serve the more than half of Americans who lack access to high quality financial services.”

The amount of the funding was undisclosed. Prior to this latest capital infusion, the company had raised more than $361 million.

In addition to its investment news, LendUp announced a new CEO, Anu Shultes. A 25-year veteran of subprime credit and financial services industry and formerly LendUp’s GM, Shultes helped drive the company’s loan originations to more than 5.5 million short-term loans adding up to $1.7 billion.

“We’re on track to profitably expand into new consumer segments and geographies, launch new loan products, double new customer originations, and carry on our mission to help anyone get on a path to better financial health,” Shultes said in a statement. Former CEO and LendUp co-founder Sasha Orloff will remain with the company as a board member and advisor to Mission Lane.

Founded in 2011, LendUp demonstrated its platform at FinovateSpring 2014. A graduate of the Y Combinator accelerator program, LendUp was featured in the Wall Street Journal last August in a look at how fintechs were entering the subprime lending space. In June, the company was profiled by Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) as one of its Financial Health Leaders for 2018 along with fellow Finovate alums like Finicity and Moven.

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44 Alums Populate CB Insights’ Fintech 250 List

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The list is in alphabetical order.









Credit Karma





Gusto (formerly ZenPayroll)










Personal Capital





Ripple Labs
















PayPal Makes Strategic Investment in Online Lender LendUp

Is PayPal’s investment in online lender LendUp a hint that the underbanked may not remain the underserved for long? LendUp specializes in providing loans to borrowers who have been unable to secure credit from banks and credit unions. And with more than $111 million in equity funding – including this week’s undisclosed amount from PayPal, the San Francisco lending and financial education platform has even more capital to grow its business.

“We’re building our own technology to create new financial products and experiences for the 56% of Americans shut out of mainstream banking due to poor credit or income volatility,” LendUp CEO Sasha Orloff said. “Right on a mobile phone.”

Operating in 24 states, LendUp provides a suite of solutions geared toward providing credit to the underbanked and helping those with thin credit files or a poor credit history to build or rebuild their credit rating. The company’s LendUp loans provide short-term credit, typically as much as $500 for up to 30 days. LendUp’s L Card Visa, launched in 2015, is a no-security-deposit-required credit card for the underbanked with an annual fee between $0 and $60, and an APR between the low 20s and the low 30s. The company’s LendUp Ladder enables customer to earns points toward better borrowing rates by making timely loan repayments, completing financial education courses, and referring others to the service.

In addition to the strategic investment from PayPal, LendUp announced that former Lending Club CFO Carrie Dolan would join the company as a board advisor. Other major changes at LendUp including hiring Mandeep Walia – a former PayPal executive – as chief compliance officer, and adding former Lending Club executive Jordan Olivier as VP of Finance, and Karry Bryan, formerly of PwC, as VP and controller.

LendUp demonstrated its lending platform at FinovateSpring 2014, following the company’s Best of Show winning debut the previous year. Earlier this month, the company was named a Financial Health Leader by the Center for Financial Services Innovation. In May, LendUp expanded its L Card credit card, launched in 2015. And in March, the company received a credit facility worth $100 million from Victory Park Capital. LendUp was founded in 2011.

LendUp Gives the Underbanked What No Traditional Bank Will

Socially responsible lender LendUp is expanding its L Card credit card offering this week. The San Francisco-based company has built on its joint venture partnership with Beneficial State Bank to quadruple the availability of the L Card, a credit card for the underbanked community that is designed to help members establish their credit files and grow their scores.

Originally launched in April of 2015, the L Card boasts low fees, offers users incentives for paying off their balance early, and provides materials to boost their financial education. Unlike major credit card companies, LendUp presents credit card applicants with an instant decision. And in order to better build users’ credit scores, LendUp reports to all three major credit bureaus.

Further differentiating its credit card offering, LendUp doesn’t require a security deposit, has an annual fee of $0 to $60, and offers an APR that ranges from just under 20% to just under 30%. Even if a customer makes a late payment, LendUp will not raise the fee. In fact, late fees, which are capped at $7, are only issued after a 14-day grace period.

Sasha Orloff, LendUp co-founder and CEO said that LendUp and Beneficial State Bank are “completely aligned on the same North Star.” Orloff added, “Our partnership is a perfect example of bringing our house-built technology, product design, and educational experiences to bear for a similarly mission-driven bank and well-deserving consumers across the country.”

Though overall the card may be good for consumers, the introductory line of credit, capped at $300 to $1,000, could possibly lead to a high credit utilization ratio, which lowers consumers’ credit scores. However, the line of credit has the potential to double after a year of responsible use so if the company’s payoff incentives and financial education work as they are supposed to, it may actually help consumers in the long-run.

Founded in 2011, LendUp began offering loans specifically designed to help consumers build credit using education, gamification, and a transparent fee structure. The company’s CEO and Co-Founder, Sasha Orloff, and CTO and Co-Founder, Jacob Rosenberg, launched the RESTful API lending platform at FinovateSpring 2014, a year after winning Best of Show at FinovateSpring 2013 for debuting the LendUp Ladder. Named to the H2Ventures and KPMG Leading 50 category of the Fintech 100 list last October, LendUp received a $100 million credit facility from Victory Park Capital this spring.

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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.