“We have experienced unprecedented growth and profitability this year, and the additional capital will enable us to further establish Upgrade Card as a mainstream credit card and continue designing innovative products that benefit consumers,” said Upgrade Co-Founder and CEO Renaud Laplanche in the release.
Upgrade offers products that are “designed to give consumers more value and a better experience than those offered by traditional banks,” the release stated. Upgrade Card, the company’s flagship product, “promotes responsible credit by turning every balance into a fixed-rate installment plan, and by paying rewards to cardholders as they pay down their balance.”
The company has handed out more than $7 billion in credit through cards and loans since 2017 and could match that total this year. Upgrade rolled out a rewards checking account earlier this year that gives customers 2 percent cash back as a reward for using the card on everyday purchases and launched the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card in July, allowing users to be paid in Bitcoin instead of cash.
The round was led by Koch Disruptive Technologies with participation from new and existing investors, including BRV and Ventura Capital. Financial Technology Partners and FTP Securities served as the financial and strategic advisor.
Upgrade announced in January that it was moving into mobile banking with a debit rewards product that gives customers cash back when they use funds on hand to cover everyday expenses. The company grew by 75 percent in 2020 as it achieved profitability with a $160 million annual revenue run rate.
“We think mobile banking is going to be a big part of our future, and I think we’ve crafted an offering that delivers more value to consumers than really any other offering that exists today,” Laplanche told PYMNTS at the time.