With macroeconomic difficulties stretching on for many businesses and individuals, the need for fast, affordable lending options is only growing.
Leveraging AI and data, fintech lenders are fast becoming the preferred option for SME and personal loans. With supplementary tools for financial health monitoring, and extending credit to underserved populations, new-wave lenders are outstripping their legacy counterparts in all of speed, efficiency and affordability.
Below, we look at the Top 10 fintech lenders by total funding.
Total funding: $210m
Sunbit offers buy now pay later credit for consumers, or, as it likes to call it “pay-over-time” credit. Generating US$210m since its founding, Sunbit offers its services to local providers and retailers across the US and has been crafted to support those facing unexpected expenses. Designed with a 90% approval rating, Sunbit says it offers fair and transparent rates, with no late fees, origination fees or penalties.
Raising US$490.5m over 17 rounds of funding, Prosper Marketplace has become a leading online lending platform, connecting prospective borrowers with individuals and institutions who provide lending services. Its website, Prosper.com, allows individuals to take out personal loans, credit, home equity, and make investments and IRAs. America’s first peer-to-peer lending marketplace, Prosper has facilitated over US$23bn in funded loans since its establishment.
Fundbox is a working capital platform that offers credit and payment solutions for SMEs. Based in the tech haven Silicon Valley, Fundbox has generated US$553.5m since its founding. Leveraging AI to power its services, the fintech is able to optimise its clients’ cash flows and expense management systems, offering revolving lines of credit up to US$150,000. Founded in 2013 by Eyal Shinar, the business owner says he was inspired to start Fundbox after seeing his mother struggle with late payments at an employment agency she owned.
Digital lender for supporting and simplifying applications for mortgages, consumer loans and deposit accounts – Blend – sits in seventh on our Top 10 list with $665m in total funding. The fintech’s solutions for streamlining customer journeys is leveraged by Wells Fargo, US Bank and over 280 other financial service providers. With low-code, drag-and-drop design tools, Blend’s services allow financial institutions to easily develop new products for their customers.
Generating US$746.4m in total investment, London-based Funding Circle offers lending options for SMEs. With fast and affordable business loans, and interest-free lines of credit, Funding Circle leverages machine learning, technology, and assistance from SME market experts for pricing and issuing loans and lines of credit. After significant funding in 2013, Funding Circle expanded into the US, merging with San Francisco-based Endurance Lending Network. Typically transferring funds to SMEs in 48 hours, Funding Circle has helped over 13,000 businesses access over £14.5bn (US$18.43bn) since 2010.
The innovative sustainable home upgrades provider is perhaps the most niche entry on our list. Partnering with sustainable home improvement professionals, GoodLeap offers flexible payment options to those looking to lower the carbon footprint of their homes. With one point-of-sale solution for all kinds of home upgrades, GoodLeap has streamlined the process for consumers to make their homes environmentally friendly with ease. Based out of Roseville, California, GoodLeap provides payment options for solar panels, battery storage, smart home devices and energy-efficient windows, among other sustainable home improvements.
With US$905m in total funding, Better.com operates an online platform for mortgage origination. Founded in 2016 by parent company Better Holdco, Inc., the fintech has funded over US$45bn in home loans and US$25bn in cumulative coverage through its Better Cover and Better Settlement Services division. Ranked in first place on LinkedIn’s Top Startups List for 2020 and 2021, Better.com has made huge growth strides, most recently raising US$500m in 2021 with lead investment from SoftBank Vision Fund.
A leader in buy-now-pay-later financing, Affirm offers a range of instalment loans to consumers at the point of sale. Founded in 2012 as part of startup studio HVF, the fintech launched an app in 2017 so consumers could take out loans when paying by mobile at retailers. A remote-first company, Affirm adapted to the pressures of workforce isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic to retain flexibility and functionality. A partner of Walmart and more recently Stripe, Affirm has created a partner network for its instalment loan services.
Credit first financial lender Avant sits second on our list of Top 10 fintech lenders, generating US$2.1bn in total across 13 rounds of funding. With a focus on alternative lending options and safe financial products, the Chicago-based fintech has become one of the world’s largest. Established in 2012 by entrepreneurs Albert Goldstein, John Sun and Paul Zhang, Avant was initially structured as a mid-prime lender, using its own proprietary tech in order to determine creditworthiness. The lender’s greatest growth spurt came between 2012 and 2015 when it generated over US$1bn in loans through its website – and received US$1.4bn in investment during this three-year period alone from VC firms including Tiger Global, Victory Park Capital, and August Capital. Initially operating in 16 US states, Avant’s services now extend to the UK and Canada.
With US$3bn in total funding across 19 rounds, SoFi is the world’s most-backed fintech lender. Offering a range of lending and wealth management services, from student and auto loan refinancing to mortgages and credit cards, SoFi sits on top of the Silicon Valley fintech lender pile. Founded by four Stanford graduates in 2011, the lender’s inaugural loan programme was a pilot at Stanford – which saw 40 of the university’s alumni loan US$2m to 100 students, for an average of US$20,000 per pupil.
The success of the programme led to SoFi’S first bout of funding a year later, raising US$77.2m in a round led by Baseline Ventures. This funding was blown out of the water in 2013, when SoFi announced it had raised US$500m in debt and equity to expand its funding capabilities for refinancing student loans.
Most recently valued at US$4.58bn, SoFi sits top of the pile in our list of Top 10 fintech lenders.
Please also take a look at our upcoming virtual event, FinTech LIVE London, coming on 8-9 November 2023.
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