Deserve raises $50m in debt financing
In rebranding his company from SelfScore to Deserve, CEO Kalpesh Kapadia explained “we believe that access is everything and everyone deserves a chance to build a positive credit history. So we are making our products available to all students, US and international, and to all those who seek to build and/or maintain a good credit history.”
And now Deserve is $50 million closer to serving this broader population of potential customers, writes David Penn at Finovate. The Accel-backed fintech has just secured a $50 million debt facility from Keystone National Group to drive growth in account receivables and help “jumpstart” first-time credit owners’ financial journeys.
“Since launching the Deserve brand in October of 2017 and addressing the needs of young people who are new to credit, we’ve seen a huge response from young adults and college students across the nation,” Kapadia says. He adds that the new credit facility from Keystone National Group will help his company “bring deserving consumers to the credit system who are often overlooked by the traditional approach and allow them to pave their path of financial independence”.
The consumer analytics company leverages machine learning (ML) and alternative data to offer a solution that the company says provides a better measure of creditworthiness than FICO scores. As Deserve, the company’s “credit scoring as a service” platform uses online profiles, phone and sensor data, psychometric questions and what the company calls “360 degree feedback” from the user’s network to give users insights and contextual information to businesses.
Deserve uses this technology in part to help millennials and Generation Z consumers establish and build credit, and earn rewards. Deserve offers consumers three Mastercard-branded credit card options:
- Deserve Edu: Geared toward college students, Deserve Edu provides 1% cash back, a $5,000 credit limit, a 20.24% variable APR, and no annual fee.
- Deserve Pro: Designed for applicants with established credit histories, Deserve Pro offers 3% cash back on travel and entertainment, 2% cash back on restaurants, and 1% cash back on purchases. Deserve Pro Mastercard also provides a credit limit up to $10,000 and a variable APR as low as 17.49%. The card is available to L1 and H1B visa holders, and has no annual fee.
- Deserve Classic: Designed for applicants looking to build credit, Deserve Classic has a credit limit of $1,500, a variable APR of 24.99%, and a $39 annual fee.
The debt financing announcement from Deserve is the latest big headline from the company since it rebranded as Deserve last autumn and announced $12 million in new funding. With total equity funding of $27 million, the company includes Aspect Ventures, Pelion Ventures, Mission Holdings, Alumni Venture Group, GDP Venture, and Accel among its investors. Headquartered in Menlo Park, California, Deserve was founded as SelfScore in 2013.