Today marked a significant milestone for LendUp. We announced another round of debt financing from longtime partners Victory Park Capital, and we also surpassed $1 billion in loan originations. I figured I’d share some additional context beyond the actual announcement.
As I look ahead, I’ve never been so optimistic or confident in our plans and opportunity for growth. For delivering on our mission on a much grander scale. As Lisa Servon, author of The Unbanking of America, notes in her new book, there’s a new middle class emerging -- one that lives “in a state of perpetual financial uncertainty,” with “chronic financial instability”.
Many of these individuals are our customers. They are Millennials, GenX, boomers and retirees. They work hourly or gig economy jobs. Some work two jobs or more, living paycheck to paycheck. They take care of family members. They are hardworking and savvy with their money; they know where every dollar goes. They are looking for good service and credit products with transparent terms. They are eager to break free of vicious debt cycles. Oftentimes, they’ve been shut out of mainstream banking.
Simply put, they deserve better options. We’re proud to be their partner on this path to better financial health.
But even with a bold mission we couldn’t do what we do without technology. From our earliest days, we made a huge bet to build our technology from the ground up. It’s exciting to see that decision is resulting in meaningful impact for our customers and for our company. Operating our own platform has enabled us to quickly learn, seamlessly act and continuously improve our products, technology, educational experiences and customer service. We’re proving that our innovative approach — including a genuine desire to understand and improve consumers’ financial situations — is differentiated and needed in the market.
Yet the technology is nothing without our team -- 200+ mission-driven individuals from around the world. It’s such a diverse group. From Silicon Valley startups and technology companies, banks, and law firms to consumer advocates, regulators and academics, along with folks right out of school. All play an equally important role in our success.
I’m also thrilled to have longstanding relationships like VPC, who believed in us from our early days, have been instrumental in our success the past few years, and hopefully, will be for years to come. They recognize our ability manage credit risk, our discipline around doing what’s right by the consumer, and our executional focus. And this year we are finally starting to demonstrate the impact of what we have been working so hard to deliver. Case in point: more than half of this billion dollar milestone originated from just 2016 alone.
In her book, Servon says, “it’s time to launch a movement that will pressure the public and private sectors to reform the consumer financial services industry in ways that make financial health attainable and sustainable for all Americans.” We’re 100% on board.
Get ready. We are just getting started.