Ex-Lending Club boss gets an Upgrade
Renaud Laplanche, the former co-founder of Lending Club, has been rebuilding his reputation with a new US lending firm called Upgrade.
As reported in May 2016, Laplanche resigned following an internal review of sales of $22 million at Lending Club in near-prime loans to a single investor, in contravention of the investor’s express instructions.
However, since 2017, Laplanche has been working on his new project, Upgrade. This start-up offers personal loans – and says “checking your rate won’t affect your credit score”.
It’s made some reasonable progress so far. According to Laplanche, it’s initiating $100 million in personal loans a month, with an average loan size of about $10,000.
He reveals that it has got $60 million in annualised revenue, and by the end of 2018, Laplanche anticipates this making a $100 million revenue run-rate and becoming profitable.
In its latest development, Upgrade has unveiled a new consumer product, “Personal Credit Line”. The product is designed to combine the fixed rate and monthly amortisation of personal loans with the “flexibility and utility” of lines of credit typically obtained through credit cards.
With this product, consumers can get approved for up to $50,000 and can request an advance on the line when they need it, subject to credit approval.
Upgrade explains that this is similar to an instalment loan because each advance has a fixed rate and term.
There is no fee to open the line and no fee to use the line. Customers are only charged interest on the amount they use, and the funds are deposited directly into their bank account. Payment terms will vary from 12 to 60 months.
Personal Credit Line will be made “broadly available to consumers shortly”. There are no specific dates but interested parties can join a waitlist.