Fintech CEO Lender Upstart is now billionaire after shares jump 89% in one day
FAfter releasing a successful earnings report that shattered Wall Street’s expectations, shares of AI-enabled fintech lender Upstart Holdings soared on Thursday, eliminating a new billionaire from Dave Girouard, co-founder and CEO of the company. society.
As the wider stock market plunged amid concerns over sky-high valuations, Upstart’s stock ended the day up 89%, lifting the fortunes of Girouard, 54, who co-founded Upstart in 2012. and owns around 14% of the shares, at around $ 1.3 billion, according to Forbes. After the market closed on Wednesday, the San Mateo, Calif., Based company reported fourth quarter results that nearly tripled average analyst expectations and posted revenue of $ 233 million for the year. 2020, or 42% more than in 2019. The company now sports a staggering market cap of $ 8.3 billion, which is 20 times the leaked revenue.
“The last quarter has been monumental for us as we took the company public amid a historically complex and difficult period for the world,” Girouard said on Wednesday evening on the first earnings conference call for Upstart. A spokesperson for Upstart said Girouard was unavailable for an interview on Thursday.
The results fueled optimism on Wall Street, with analysts at Bank of America and JMP Securities upping Upstart shares on Thursday, citing an improving outlook thanks to the company’s high lending volume, expanding partnerships. banking and the launch of new products. During the conference call, Girouard announced that Upstart is entering the auto loan business with the acquisition of San Francisco-based Prodigy Software, a cloud-based platform that allows customers to purchase auto loans. cars online. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“As Amazon and Shopify modernized the online shopping experience, the auto industry has been left behind,” Girouard said Wednesday. “Automotive retail is one of the greatest opportunities to buy it now and pay later, and with Prodigy, we aim to help dealerships create a seamless and inclusive experience worthy of 2021.”
Amid a wave of public market debuts like Airbnb and DoorDash, Upstart shares listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange in December, jump 47% on their first day of trading and achieving a market cap of $ 2.2 billion. “We’re seeing at least as much inefficiency in auto loans as we are in personal loans,” Girouard said at the time, previewing the company’s foray into the auto space. “Millions of people are spending way too much on auto loans.”
Upstart provides loans of $ 1,000 to $ 50,000 at interest rates ranging from 7% to 36%, which is quite similar to other fintech lenders like SoFi, Upgrade, and LendingClub. What sets Upstart apart, he says, is the way it assesses borrower risk. The company uses artificial intelligence and alternative data such as education and work history to assess a person’s creditworthiness, eschewing the simpler FICO-based models favored by other lenders. To date, the company has granted more than $ 9 billion in loans.
A A former Google executive, Girouard graduated from Dartmouth College and tried his hand at consulting at Accenture’s Boston office before turning to the University of Michigan for an MBA. He landed his first Silicon Valley job at Apple in 1994 and joined Google in 2004, helping to build the division that is now known as Google Cloud. There he met Upstart co-founder (and then Google colleague) Anna Counselman, and they partnered with Thiel Fellow Paul Gu to launch Upstart in April 2012. Gu and Counselman remain with the company today. as chiefs of operations and products, respectively, but own less than 3% of the shares each.
Upstart’s meteoric surge on Thursday pushed its share price up to $ 115, more than 25% above analysts’ one-year average price target, despite recent analyst updates. . Upstart predicts its revenue will more than double this year to $ 500 million.
“We believe virtually all loans will be AI powered in the future, and we are in the early stages of helping our banking partners make this transformation a success,” Girouard said on Wednesday.