Why the original credit disruptors invested in LendUp -- and just joined our Board

What an exciting week at LendUp!

We just announced that Capital One founder Nigel Morris has joined as LendUp Board Chair, and Frank Rotman, an early Capital One employee, joined as Board Member.

Nigel and Frank are the industry’s original credit disruptors, and with their backing we’re in a stronger position than ever before. They join Blake Byers of GV, who brings the best of technology and mobile to the table. We’re turbocharging a business that’s already hit the gas pedal hard.

We’ve far surpassed projections on our credit cards, with 4x growth in the past 12 months alone. That means there’s a better option for consumers in the Emerging Middle Class who are eager to improve their financial health.

Being the first venture-backed credit card company -- and the first to design a card with a conscience -- is starting to pay off. We’re proving that there’s a vast addressable market of creditworthy borrowers deserving of high-quality credit, and we’re excited to be their partner of choice.

For those of you who don’t know, we offer two Visa credit cards -- the Arrow Card issued by TAB Bank, and the L Card issued by Beneficial State Bank. We designed both in-house to meet the needs of borrowers who’ve been traditionally shut out of mainstream, quality credit options. On Credit Karma, our cards have been named Cardholder Choice -- a pretty stark contrast to the awful one- and two-star reviews of others in our category. We’re incredibly proud of that recognition, because it means customers are going out of their way to tell others how much they love LendUp’s credit cards.

We’re delighting consumers who’ve historically been mistreated with predatory, high-fee credit cards. We ensure every product we make is aligned to “ladders, not chutes” -- one of our company values --- meaning we help people on their journey to better financial health, vs. push them down further into financial distress. For consumers accustomed to high fees, gotcha fine print, and inflexible terms, we’re doing a lot differently. And there is a lot about our cards that is resonating:

  • We encourage responsible financial behavior and offer access to credit scores for free.
  • We offer transparent pricing, no hidden fees, and clear terms and conditions.
  • We provide instant decisioning, which is practically unheard of among products for borrowers with subprime credit.
  • We embed and incentivize improving financial literacy through our credit education classes.

We attribute the growth of our card business to our company-wide commitment to putting our customers first. But I want to take a moment to acknowledge the true driving force behind this exciting inflection point for LendUp: our people.

We are able to do things differently thanks to our incredible team. The people who built Capital One’s subprime credit business are now designing even more powerful models at LendUp, due in part to the modern tech stack we’ve built ourselves. They’re working alongside PayPal alums, former CFPB regulators, long-time NAACP executives, researchers with advanced degrees in poverty reduction, and the brightest PhDs in physics. Diversity of experience and perspective, mixed with modern software, allows us to create industry (re)defining products and experiences for our users. And we are just getting started.

When you combine this much in-house talent with the years of experience of Nigel, Frank and Blake as board members, and advisors ranging from Carrie Dolan to Ali Rowghani, it’s a certifiable dream team.

I’m incredibly proud of where LendUp is today, and I’m so excited as I look at our roadmap for the coming months and years. Congratulations to the team, and thank you to everyone in the LendUp network who has made our impact possible. Did I mention we’re hiring?

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