NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fig, a technology driven Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), and Upper90, a leading alternative credit provider, are building tailored software solutions for underbanked Americans. Fig’s technologies empower community organizations to reach a significantly larger client base at a fraction of the cost. Early adopters of the platform include the United Way of Greater Houston, Catholic Charities Dallas and Memorial Assistance Ministries in Houston. “Fig launched in Houston, in partnership with United Way THRIVE, because so many non-profits offering safe alternatives to predatory lending struggled to be sustainable,” said Rebecca Fritze, Manager at the United Way. “With Fig’s technology, we can now support organizations who are offering safe and affordable loan products to meet the needs of lower income families who may not have access to traditional banking options.”
Founded by Jeff Zhou and John Li, Fig has raised $30 million to date to develop technology and predictive analytics to reduce the risk, origination, and servicing costs for nonprofits offering financial services. Fig is the first FinTech company to hold both Benefit Corporation and US Treasury Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) certifications.
Nonprofit financial programs operate in-person where a staff member supports about 70 participants at a time. Fig’s technology can operate at 20x efficiency through automation, scaling this ratio as high as 1500-to-1 and passing the cost savings to the borrower. “The advanced capabilities of Fig’s underwriting engine and grassroots non-profit partnerships is a unique combination. We see parallels to industry leaders in Upper90’s portfolio that utilize technology to roll up or provide capital to long tail fragmented industries such as Thrasio, Clearbanc and Octane Lending,” said Billy Libby, Co-Founder and CEO of Upper90.
Fig’s recent expansion is in response to rising demand from non-profits serving lower income households, who US Census data says have been the hardest hit by Covid-19. “Over 75% of non-profits are less than $1M in size, and they are priced out of legacy financial software-as-a-service,” says Jeff Zhou, CEO and co-founder of Fig. “We take care of the nuts and bolts, so nonprofits can focus on doing what they do best, helping people.”
Nonprofits spent $1.8T in 2015 according to the Urban Institute, and charitable giving reached $450B in 2019. Fig currently operates in 6 states with 40,000 customers. The partnership with Upper90 allows Fig to accelerate growth and make more efficient technology available to underserved communities.
To learn more about Fig and their journey, please reach out to Zara Mohidin, Head of Partnerships at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fig provides credit building products for consumers and financial stability tools for community organizations. Started in 2015 through a collaboration with United Way of Greater Houston, Fig is a graduate of Village Capital and Techstars and has provided $25M in loans to underserved Americans. Fig is a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and Certified B Corporation. To learn more about the Fig’s products visit https://www.figloans.com/what-is-fig.
Upper90 is an alternative credit manager with $400m in AUM and over $700m in total originations since launching in 2018. Started by executives from Seamless-GrubHub, Goldman Sachs, and Solus Alternative Asset Management, Upper90’s goal is to help founders own more of their companies. The fund leverages new data sources with traditional credit underwriting to provide a flexible alternative to equity for disruptive companies. Credit facilities start at $5M for Seed and scale up to $50M+ for Series B businesses.