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April 10, 2019

AI-based lending platform Upstart lands $50m funding

Upstart, an online lending marketplace that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automate the borrowing process, has obtained $50m in equity funding.

This takes the total capital raised by the lending startup to $160m.

Investors are Progressive Investment Company, Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan, and First National Bank of Omaha.

Upstart’s offering will now be part of the Progressive portfolio of Advantage Products.

At the same time, Upstart struck agreements with First National Bank of Omaha, First Federal Bank of Kansas City and Accion Chicago.

The firms can tap into Upstart’s platform as a white-label lending application.

First National Bank of Omaha senior vice president of enterprise digital solutions and emerging business Marc Butterfield said: “Upstart’s AI/ML-based pricing engine and automation will allow us to profitably serve a broader set of customers, within a great digital onboarding experience, than we could before.”

Upstart also plans to expand its platform to other forms of credit.

Lately, it tied up with Customers Bank’s BankMobile unit to introduce a pair of credit cards.

Over the last five years, Upstart is said to have originated loans worth over $3.3bn.

Upstart co-founder Paul Gu said: “Credit is generally overpriced and unfairly distributed, because it relies on techniques developed before the advent of modern computing.

“But technology and data science, in the form of AI, have the opportunity to change all of that.”

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