Upgrade Raises $280 Million Series F

The appropriately named Upgrade just managed one of their own with its latest funding round. Today, the company announced that it had raised $280 million. The Series F was led by Coatue Management and DST Global with additional participation from Dragoneer Investment Group, Gopher Asset Management, G-Squared, Koch Disruptive Technologies, Old Well Partners, Ribbit Capital, Sands Capital, Ventura Capital, and Vy Capital. To date, the FinTech has now raised a total of $587 million.

As impressive as the $280 million investment is on its own, what’s even more notable is the valuation. This Series F was raised at a $6 billion pre-money valuation, which is 87% higher than the $3.325 billion value the company had when raising its Series E in August of this year. That round totaled $105 million and followed a $40 million Series D in June 2020.

The megaround comes as Upgrade has continued to expand its offerings beyond its initial personal loan focus. Earlier this year, the company launched a Rewards Checking Account that offers 1% on all purchases as well as 2% back on select “everyday expenses” categories including convenience stores, drugstores, gas stations, and restaurants, utilities, phone, cable, and select monthly subscriptions. 

They’ve also expanded their credit card business to include a Bitcoin-earning option among others. Additionally, Nilson Report has recognized the Upgrade Card as “the fastest growing credit card in America,” landing Upgrade on the list of the top 50 U.S. credit card issuers. Zooming out, Upgrade also reports that it’s offered more than $10 billion in affordable credit (via loans and card services) to consumers since 2017, including being on track for $8 billion in 2021.

In a statement about the latest funding round, Upgrade co-founder and CEO Renaud Laplanche said, “We are thrilled to partner with DST, Coatue and Dragoneer. 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.”

On the other end of the transaction, Coatue Management founder and CEO Philippe Laffont said of the FinTech, “Upgrade is an exciting example of a credit-led neobank. 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.”

If it wasn’t clear from their previous funding round, this phenomenal Series F and $6 billion valuation show that Upgrade is a growing FinTech force. In turn, we can expect even more features and products from the company in the coming months. Of course, this megaround also adds to an investment tally that will surely amount to a record year for the FinTech industry.

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Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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