Lending Startup Upgrade Closes $105M Series E Round

The company recently launched a credit card that pays rewards in bitcoin rather than cash.

Aug 11, 2021 at 3:27 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:38 p.m. UTC

Upgrade, the lending startup co-founded by the former CEO of Lending Club, Renaud Laplanche, has raised $105 million in a Series E funding round that takes the firm’s valuation to $3.325 billion.

  • The funding round was led by Koch Disruptive Technologies with contributions from new and existing investors, including BRV and Ventura Capital advised by Julius Baer.
  • In July, Upgrade launched its Bitcoin Rewards Card, a credit card that pays rewards in bitcoin rather than cash.
  • "We created the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card for those consumers who are either crypto enthusiasts or are just getting started, and wanted a low-risk way to participate in the crypto economy," Laplanche, the CEO of Upgrade, said in a statement to CoinDesk.
  • The Upgrade card is the company's flagship product and pays rewards to cardholders as they pay down their balance. 
  • "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 Laplanche.

UPDATE (Aug. 11, 16:16 UTC): Adds quote from Laplanche.

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