Upgrade nearly doubles valuation to $6bn in 4 months

By Daniel Lanyon on Wednesday 17 November 2021

Alternative LendingDigital Banking

Renaud Laplanche, the CEO and founder of Upgrade, says rapid growth has prompted a new $280m Series F round.

Upgrade nearly doubles valuation to $6bn in 4 months
Image source: Renaud Laplanche/Upgrade

Upgrade has seen its valuation soar to $6bn following a $280m Series F round.

The San Fransisco based firm, which launched just four years ago, raised the cash in a round led by new investors Coatue Management and DST Global bringing its total haul to $600m in equity capital.

Dragoneer Investment Group and existing investors including Gopher Asset Management, G-Squared, Koch Disruptive Technologies, Old Well Partners, Ribbit Capital, Sands Capital, Ventura Capital and Vy Capital also participated in the round.

Upgrade, which was founded by the former Lending Club CEO and founder Renaud Laplanche in 2017 last raised cash just four months ago in August 2021 where the fintech lender raised $105m.

It offers credit to mainstream consumers, primarily through its Upgrade Card, which allows credit card balances to be turned into a fixed-rate instalment plan. Cardholders then receive rewards as they pay down their balance. It also has a card offering rewards in Bitcoin.

Upgrade has lent $10bn in this manner to consumers through cards and loans since inception in 2017 and is on track to deliver $8bn in 2021 alone, the firm says.

“We are thrilled to partner with DST, Coatue and Dragoneer,” said Renaud Laplanche, co-founder and CEO of Upgrade. “This new round comes just four months after our Series E and demonstrates Upgrade’s rapid growth and commitment to delivering innovative financial products that benefit consumers”.

“Upgrade is an exciting example of a credit-led neobank” said Philippe Laffont, Founder and CEO of Coatue Management. “Credit is a key component of banking and has been a major source of revenue for banks. We are excited by Upgrade’s innovative credit products that we believe can help the company capture a significant share of the mobile banking market“.

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