Victory Park boosts Upstart lending pool by $400m

The Chicago-based lending firm is increasing the capital it will lend via the California personal loan provider to $500 million from $100 million.  

Victory Park Capital, the Chicago-based asset management firm focused on mid-market debt and equity investments, has increased its lending via Upstart’s platform to $500 million from $100 million. Upstart is a lending platform that provides loans to individuals based on their employment history and academic performance. The company is based in Palo Alto, California.

Victory Park made the original $100 million investment to Upstart in August last year, as PDI previously reported. “We were impressed with the Upstart team’s execution in 2014, and their results give us confidence that this emerging platform is serving a critical market need,” Tom Welch, principal at VPC, said in a statement. “Upstart’s ability to identify prime borrowers years before other lenders is fundamentally disruptive, and the team has shown that they know how to execute on the opportunity.”

Upstart provides loans to borrowers that might not be well-served by traditional lenders. In the 11 months since inception, the company has made 5,000 loans totaling $70 million, including about $14 million in March alone.

Upstart was founded by Google alumni. The company’s loans can be used for various purposes, such as paying off credit cards, eliminating student debt, paying for a coding school or launching a business.

Victory Park is a private investment firm that specializes in credit and private equity investments in mid-market companies across a wide range of industries. The firm was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Chicago, with additional offices in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.

Victory Park has made a range of credit investments using a number of marketplace lenders like Upstart. Earlier this year it listed a new investment vehicle, VPC Specialty Investments, on the London Stock Exchange. The listed company raised £200 million ($297 million; €273 million) and invests in loans made via marketplace lending platforms such as Funding Circle.