Challenger bank and Fintex Capital invest in ex-Lending Club CEO’s venture 

By Daniel Lanyon on 19th July 2018

P2P/Marketplace LendingAlternative Credit

Banco BNI Europa and Fintex will deploy money through Upgrade to lend to US consumers.

Challenger bank and Fintex Capital invest in ex-Lending Club CEO’s venture 

European challenger bank Banco BNI Europa and UK-based Fintex Capital have entered into a strategic partnership to invest in US marketplace lender Upgrade’s consumer loans, according to a statement by the firm.

Upgrade is the new venture from Renaud Laplanche (pictured), the ex-CEO of Lending Club, the leading marketplace lender in the US. His departure two years ago followed allegations of impropriety and prompted something of an upset to the wider industry after a period of rapid growth, the biggest in the industry’s decade long history.

Laplanche, speaking to AltFi in May of 2018 two years on from his departure from Lending Club said Upgrade represents his goal to try to create a “version 2.0 of the industry by learning from all the bad ideas I had in the first ten years”.

“As you can imagine, after 10 years there’s a lot of areas where you say to yourself, 'if I had to do this again I’d do it differently’,” he said.

Cleary Banco BNI Europa and Fintex Capital agree - who are also joining more than a dozen of institutional investors - investing in the Upgrade platform.

Banco BNI Europa has committed an initial sum of  $30m. Banco BNI Europa has already invested in US consumer loans originated on platforms like Lending Club and Prosper through a third-party fund.

This loan purchase programme was implemented by Fintex Capital, which issued a bond to Banco BNI Europa backed by the portfolio and Fintex acts as asset manager for the underlying loans.

Pedro Pinto Coelho, executive chairman of Banco BNI Europa said: “We are pleased to increase our exposure to the US consumer lending market and particularly delighted to benefit from the expertise of Upgrade’s experienced team lead by Renaud Laplanche.

“We consider Upgrade to be different from other consumer loan offerings in light of its focus on borrower free cashflow as a key metric. We’re also supportive of Upgrade’s credit education initiative, which provides much needed advice and assistance to US borrowers as to how they can improve their credit health.”


AltFi London Summit 2019

Now in its sixth year, the AltFi London Summit returns on 18th March 2019 to 155 Bishopsgate. Last year proved to be a crucial turning point for the key players building the future of finance. Leading platforms launched oversubscribed IPOs, digital banks proliferated and mainstream financial institutions started their own disruptive propositions. With 2019 certain to be another landmark year, more questions will be asked by regulators with investor interest in disruption also poised for more rapid growth.

18th March 2019

Companies in this Article:

Banco BNI Europa
Fintex Capital
Lending Club
Prosper Marketplace

More like this:

iwoca raises £150m in equity and debt capital

18th February 2019
Daniel Lanyon

Zopa shakes up board ahead of bank launch

14th February 2019
Roger Baird