Fintech startup Aura closes $28.7 million financing from Angel Island Capital to provide affordable loans to hard-working
Millions of working families in America lack access to safe and affordable loans and are vulnerable to predatory lenders. Aura is a San Francisco, California-based financial technology startup on a mission to reverse this trend by providing affordable, credit-building loans to America’s hard-working families.
By partnering with financial institutions like AIC, Aura is able to provide this underserved population with affordable loans that have helped save them hundreds of millions of dollars in additional fees and interest by avoiding predatory options. Two-thirds of Aura’s borrowers have grown their credit score by an average of 285 points from their first to second loan.
Back in June we wrote about Aura when the fintech startup raised $10 million investment led by Prudential Financial to provide affordable loans to more people. Today, Aura announced it has raised another $28.7 million in residual debt financing from Angel Island Capital (“AIC”) to help the company grow and keep pace with the demand for its loans.
The new financing comes at a time of rapid growth for Aura, in which the company has provided approximately $500 million in loans to more than 400,000 borrowers at over 1,200 partner locations since its founding in 2014. Aura uses technology that goes beyond the credit score to determine borrowers’ ability to repay and enables local businesses to administer credit applications.
Aura loans are made possible by its innovative social bonds program, which enables banks and other financial institutions to invest in loans to low-income individuals, while generating compelling returns. In total, Aura has raised over $431 million in social bonds across 16 bond issuances.
“Aura will use this expansion loan to scale and expand into new markets,” said James Gutierrez, CEO of Aura. “Aura has received more than 1 million applications for our loans, and this number grows every day. By partnering with AIC, we can keep up with the demand and help fulfill our mission of providing affordable loans to millions of families in America.”
“Aura has created a unique model to target a niche lending market through their innovative approach and data-driven platform. By leveraging proprietary analytics, Aura provides loans at scale with a high degree of confidence to borrowers with limited or no credit histories,” said Dev Gopalan, CEO of Angel Island Capital. “We’re pleased to partner with Aura to support their growth as they provide fair and accessible loans to even more families.”
Founded in 2012 by James Gutierrez, Kevin Kang, and Randy Wong, Aura is a technology-powered, Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that provides small, affordable loans to working families in America. Its mission is to build financially healthy low-income communities, by providing empowering financial services to America’s 66-million underbanked and unbanked. Aura has pioneered a cloud-based lending technology that enables trusted local businesses to submit credit applications for centralized review and approval by its proprietary scoring algorithms. Aura is currently available in nearly 1,200 locations across California, Texas, Illinois and Arizona
The three founders helped create and scale Oportun, a CDFI and one of Time Magazine’s Top 50 Most Genius Companies in 2018. Last week, Oportun filed a registration statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for an Initial Public Offering (IPO).
Aura has provided hundreds of thousands of credit-building, responsible loans to low-income households since launching in 2014. Aura was founded in 2012 by James Gutierrez, Kevin Kang, and Randy Wong. All three founders helped create and scale Oportun, a CDFI and one of Time Magazine’s Top 50 Most Genius Companies in 2018. Last week, Oportun filed a registration statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for an Initial Public Offering (IPO).