CreditEase VC arm leads Series C round for US consumer credit platform Upgrade

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US-based consumer credit platform Upgrade has secured a $62-million Series C round of financing led by CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund (CEFIF), according to an official release.

While the release did not disclose any financial terms of the deal, the pre-money valuation of the startup was believed to be around $500 million, according to Axios.

The Upgrade platform has facilitated over $1 billion in originations of affordable consumer loans since inception, the official statement said.

The new financing will fuel Upgrade’s continued product innovation on the heels of the launch of its Personal Credit Line and the expansion of Credit Health, Upgrade’s credit monitoring and education product. Personal Credit Line seeks to combine the low cost, fixed rate and monthly amortization of personal loans with the flexibility and utility of lines of credit typically obtained through credit cards.

“The new capital will enable continued investments in product, credit analytics, compliance, risk management and expansion of our San Francisco, Phoenix, Montreal and Chicago offices,” said Renaud Laplanche, co-founder and CEO of Upgrade. “We are seeing a growing desire from consumers to better understand their overall credit situation and to learn to make great financial decisions that give them access to more affordable credit.”

Upgrade has raised $142 million in equity since inception in 2016. This $62-million Series C round includes the conversion of all previously issued convertible notes. All major existing investors including Apoletto, FirstMark Capital, NOAH, Ribbit, Sands Capital Ventures, Silicon Valley Bank, Union Square Ventures and Vy Capital participated in the Series C round.

Founded in February 2016, CEFIF invests in fintech companies from around the world and has an equivalent of $1 billion in total committed capital.

This year, the fund has so far backed more than 10 fintech companies of different stages, ranging from seed to Series E.

Its parent firm CreditEase is a leading fintech company in China, specializing in small business and consumer lending as well as wealth management for high net-worth and mass affluent investors. Its majority-owned subsidiary Yirendai, an online consumer finance marketplace, is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Also Read:

China: CreditEase VC arm invests in Nav; Jumei acquires Jiedian Technology

Beijing and Shenzhen drive Chinese fintech: Ning Tang, Creditease

India: Consumer credit startup PaySense raises $18m from PayU, Jungle Ventures

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.