One of Canada’s best-known online lending outfits has closed a $57m fundraise, comprised of $12m in equity capital and $45m in new credit facilities. The additional funds bring Borrowell’s total equity financing raised to date to $16.7m.
The Series A round was led by Portag3 Ventures LP, Equitable Bank and White Star Capital, with additional participation coming from FirstOntario Credit Union and others. FirstOntario Credit Union is also contributing the credit facilities alongside Concentra.
The equity money will be used for significant investments in data science and artificial intelligence, with a view to better predicting and building tools that drive financial well-being.
"In just over two years since our launch, we've experienced tremendous growth, centered around our mission of helping consumers make great decisions about credit," said Andrew Graham (pictured), co-founder and CEO of Borrowell. "Over three hundred thousand Canadians have used Borrowell to learn their credit score or check their rate on a loan. This doesn’t include the many more we’ve served through our partnership with CIBC.”
Borrowell partnered with CIBC in October of last year. The arrangement allows the bank to make use of Borrowell’s underwriting process and technology platform in order to speed up credit assessment for its existing client base, and was touted by Graham at the time as a “true integration”.
The credit score function to which he refers was launched in the summer of 2016, in partnership with Equifax Canada. Fintech propositions which mesh together lending and credit scoring within a single entity seem to be attracting the attention of venture capitalists at present, with Renaud Laplanche’s new outfit – the very deliberately named Upgrade – recently closing a $60m Series A on the strength of a similar set of core functions.
“We’re excited about Borrowell’s ability to use data to generate deep consumer insights,” said Jean-François Marcoux, managing partner of White Star Capital. “We look forward to using our global network and resources to help Borrowell scale more quickly, both in Canada and abroad.”