We believe that everyone should have access to affordable credit, regardless of their credit score or lack thereof. That's why we created Yendo, the world's first vehicle-secured credit card that offers affordable credit to the millions of Americans who have historically lacked access to mainstream financial products.
Today, we're excited to announce that we've raised $24M in Series A funding led by FPV Ventures. This funding will allow us to expand our product suite and meet customer demand.
Here are some of the things we'll be doing with his funding:
- Help more people: We're going to grow into new markets and reach more people who need access to affordable credit.
- Expand our product suite: We're going to improve our current product and add new features and tools to help more people achieve their financial goals.
- Grow our team: We plan to make key hires that will accelerate our growth and enable us to deliver more value to our customers.
In addition to this announcement, we want to take the time to highlight some of the important questions we get, so you know how we think about our business and our mission.
How is Yendo different from non-bank lenders if you still require collateral?
Yendo is different from non-bank lenders in several ways. For one, we’re backed by a bank, which puts us in a completely different category than non-bank lenders. We’re also 95% cheaper than traditional non-bank lenders, on average; our credit lines revolve and can be paid back without incurring interest; and we report to the bureaus, which helps our customers build credit. Plus, we’re faster and more convenient than other loan products, and can be accessed entirely from a person’s smartphone. This helps bridge the gap for everyday consumers, in particular those who live in financial deserts and lack access to affordable credit solutions.
Why has no one else done this, and why should we trust you?
Let’s be honest, subprime credit isn’t sexy. It’s a problem that largely exists in middle America, which has kept it off the radar of investors and traditional tech hubs, like Silicon Valley and New York. As a result, many people have overlooked access to affordable credit as a viable problem to solve for subprime consumers. More than that, credit cards are difficult to build. That’s why only a handful have launched over the last few years.
Despite headwinds, we knew we wanted to create a product that would deliver the most impact to everyday people, and we believe a credit card is the right tool to do that. Already, Yendo has helped thousands of people gain access to affordable credit, saving them an average of $1,185 per month compared to those who typically use title or payday loans to help finance their daily lives.
We’re the right people for the job. Prior to Yendo, we built a lending program for small businesses in Asia that unlocked asset-based financing to significantly reduce the cost of borrowing that plagues underdeveloped credit markets. The system we created had a massive positive impact for our customers and their communities, and we realized there was an opportunity to help level the playing field for everyday Americans who have historically lacked access to affordable credit by deploying a similar model in the US that unlocks valuable equity trapped in one of consumers’ largest assets.
Plus, we’re backed by some of the most notable investors, including Mark Cuban, FPV Ventures, Human Capital, and Autotech Ventures.
Will you repossess cars if someone misses a payment?
We are committed to keeping our cardholders in their cars, no matter their financial situation. If a cardholder falls behind on payments we work with them to create a plan to get back on track. That said, repossessions can happen – as they do with all secured bank products. However, we will only recover collateral as a last resort once we’ve exhausted all other options and we will never make money on repossessing a customer’s car.
Avoiding car repossession starts with how we qualify our cardholders. Through our underwriting process we determine a person’s credit limit based on factors including their income and expenses, tradeline data, as well as the value of their vehicle. We never extend more credit to an individual than they can reasonably afford to pay back – it’s baked into our models. Once our cardholders have access to a line of credit, we make it as easy as possible for them to pay us back, requiring a minimum monthly payment of just $50 or 5% of the statement balance, whichever is greater. We are intent on providing payment optionality that is significantly more flexible than the installment loans that dominate the subprime credit landscape.
Is Yendo planning to expand beyond a credit card?
Our mission is to provide access to affordable credit so everyone has the opportunity to achieve their financial goals. We can’t share all the details now, but this round of funding will allow us to make our current product more accessible to more people and add additional features and tools so that we can meet the needs of our customers beyond just credit.
For more information on our Series A funding, you can see our press release here and visit yendo.com to learn more about our vehicle-secured credit card offering prime rates to the millions of Americans who have historically lacked access to the financial system because of their credit score.