Three years before, the founder of LendingClub, Renaud Laplanche, took the covers off his second act; Upgrade

A customer lending venture called Upgrade that now hires 350 people.

The Story of Upgrade

Upgrade has lent about $2 billion to 200,000 people and has raised $142 million from external investors.

At the moment, it is jumping into a packed market that has only become more frenzied, with an increasing number of fintech startups that market themselves as more considerate options to set banks and regular credit card firms. 

Successful fintech startup giants like Visa and Mastercard charge interest and late fees for overdue payments. For example, the Swedish unicorn company Klarna which enables shoppers to purchase now and repay later.

They make money by retailer business fees and late fees but do not charge interest fees. 

Likewise, Max Levchin’s lending company, Affirm, does not charge late fees when its clients rack up significant charges.

Yet it does charge interest rates sometimes as steep as 30%.

Upgrade is somewhat different in which it doesn’t invite consumers to comply with their payments when they purchase something using dollars from Upgrade. 

But it yet mostly goes into the same mold in that it sells itself as better for lending consumers and more attentive to them. 

Its flagship personal loan product is widely used by customers to pay off credit cards, and it highlights credit health tools that train people on how to increase their credit scores.

It also charges around 35.89% interest yearly to a little percentage of users.

Renaud Laplanche- Founder of LendingClub | iTMunch

Introducing Upgrade Card

A brand new loan product called the Upgrade Card takes things still further on the feel-good front. 

As Laplanche explains it, the card can primarily combine the payments abilities of a credit card with the low cost of bank credit into one single product.

Upgrade, which ended its last round, is due for a new funding round itself, closing its $62 million Series C round in August, last year. 

Whether the progress is enough to cover Upgrade or these other fintech startups in a severe downturn continues to be seen. 

But as we all know, Laplanche has endured worse before.

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