Upgrade, the consumer credit platform launched by former LendingClub Chief Renaud Laplanche, has closed a $62 million Series C round led by China's CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund.
Upgrade has raised $142 million in equity capital since inception in 2016. The company was set up Laplanche after he was forced out of LendingClub following an internal review which found that $22 million in near-prime loans were sold to an institutional investor that did not want them. The application date on $3 million of the loans was altered to make them look like they met the investor's requirements.
Upgrade, which currently employs 300 people, has facilitated over $1 billion in consumer loans across its marketplace platform since inception. In April, the company launched a new service, Personal Credit Line, designed 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,” says Laplanche. “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. This encourages us to keep building responsible consumer credit products that fit these trends.”
CreditEase, a $1 billion fintech investment fund founded in December 2015, has made a rash of investment in US technology startups since inception. It was recently ranked the third 'Most Active Fintech VC Fund' globally by CB Insights.
Anju Patwardhan, managing director at CreditEase, who will be joining the Upgrade board, says: "We believe Upgrade will grow into a mainstream consumer credit brand that is dedicated to helping consumers better understand their credit and encourages responsible credit behavior and we are excited to be part of the journey.”