SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- LendUp, a socially responsible fintech company building the fastest-growing destination for the emerging middle class, was named one of the World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Finance by Fast Company. LendUp was selected from more than 1,500 applicants. Fellow honorees include Stripe, Apple, Netflix, Square, Amazon, Patagonia, Spotify, Stitch Fix, Diamond Foundry, and Patreon, among others.
"The financial services industry has traditionally focused on the opposite end of the credit spectrum: credit scores above 680, steady paychecks, and affluence," said Sasha Orloff, co-founder and CEO of LendUp. "We've done a lot differently so that we can address the exact opposite end of the spectrum -- the more than half of America who has the most need for quality financial services and has the least amount of access to them."
Founded in 2012, LendUp builds financial products for the 56% of Americans shut out of traditional financial services due to low credit score, thin credit files, or income volatility. The company has achieved breakthroughs by using machine learning and alternative data to unlock credit for hundreds of thousands of Americans who banks have deemed too risky.
Thanks to house-build technology and powerful data analytics and machine learning models, LendUp is able to identify potential customers who may be more credit-worthy than their score might indicate -- and to build first-of-their-kind features. Its innovative products include the socially responsible L and Arrow cards, the first venture backed credit cards -- bringing card innovation to a stagnant industry that hasn't seen innovation in 30 years. The cards are mobile-first, feature instant approval, and boast "Cardholder Choice" ratings just short of a perfect score of 5/5 on Credit Karma -- nearly unheard of in the category. In addition, LendUp has saved borrowers more than $160 million in fees and interest, provided nearly 2 million free online financial courses, and improved credit scores by hundreds of thousands of points.
Although known for product innovation, LendUp also recognizes the value of innovation in private-public solutions that ensure technology isn't just for coastal elites, but for everyone. Its Finance Forward initiative, launched in partnership with The Aspen Institute, works alongside organizations like Pew Charitable Trusts, local government, and large employers to solve for the growing issue of income volatility.
"We're thankful that Fast Company recognizes the impact we've had on our customers' financial health, and on the industry. We're building an iconic, beloved brand that proves that a good guy can win -- and we're honored to be among this incredible list of game-changing companies," said Orloff. "But most importantly, we're proud to be proving that America's Emerging Middle Class is not only deserving of better financial options, but that it's possible to be a financial services company with a conscience."
As a testament to its relentless pursuit of innovative solutions, LendUp will soon announce first-of-its-kind research with Experian, studying the impact of including short term loan repayment history on borrowers' credit score calculations. The study found that inclusion of that information, currently not included in credit reports, could have a profoundly positive effect on people's credit scores and on financial inclusion broadly -- a stance LendUp has long advocated for on behalf of deserving consumers.
LendUp is a socially responsible fintech company on a mission to redefine financial services for the emerging middle class — the 56 percent of Americans shut out of mainstream banking due to poor or thin credit files. LendUp builds technology, credit products and educational experiences that haven't existed before, to help people build credit, save money and get on a path to better financial health.
About Fast Company
Fast Company is the world's leading progressive business media brand, with a unique editorial focus on innovation in technology, ethical economics, leadership, and design. Headquartered in New York City, Fast Company is published by Mansueto Ventures LLC, one of the U.S.'s leading media companies.