Inside fintech startup Upstart’s IPO filing


While the world awaits the Airbnb IPO filing that could come as early as next week, Upstart dropped its own S-1 filing. The fintech startup facilitates loans between consumers and partner banks, an operation that attracted around $144 million in capital prior to its IPO.

First Round Capital, Khosla Ventures, Third Point Ventures, Rakuten and The Progressive Corporation led rounds in the startup, according to Crunchbase data.

There’s quite a lot to like in Upstart’s IPO filing, including rapidly advancing revenues and recent profitable period. However, the company’s revenue concentration could be a concern to some investors who recall what recently happened to Fastly shares after losing a large customer.

PitchBook data indicates that the company was last valued at $750 million thanks to its 2019 Series D worth $50 million. Can Upstart reach unicorn status with its IPO? Let’s peek at the numbers and try to answer the question.

Results, earnings

Upstart’s technology uses what it describes as artificial intelligence (AI) to approve consumer loans. It collects consumer demand for credit and connects that demand to bank partners who fund the loans. The company’s AI-powered credit tool can give consumers “higher approval rates [and] lower interest rates,” according to its S-1 filing, which offers banks “access to new customers, lower fraud and loss rates, and increased automation.”

If Upstart’s AI tool can, in fact, more intelligently determine consumer creditworthiness, everyone could come out a winner, with consumers paying less and banks adding to their loan books without taking on outsized risk.



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