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.
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.”