Petal, the NYC-based fintech startup offering credit cards to those just starting out, has closed a $30 million round of Series B funding.
A Peter Thiel-backed Venture
The round was led by Peter Theil’s Valar Ventures and will reportedly be used to expand the company’s offerings and bring on more clients. Valar Ventures previously led Petal’s $13 million Series A almost exactly one year ago. To date, Petal has raised more than $80 million in debt and equity financing after five rounds of funding.
A New Approach to Consumer Credit
Unlike traditional banks which rely heavily on an applicants FICO score, Petal primarily considers an applicant’s income streams when determining credit worthiness. The goal of this method is to be able to approve more candidates, especially those without pre-established credit, and to grant candidates higher credit limits. As an added incentive, Petal’s model only charges interest and transaction fees, which allows it eliminate overdraft fees, late fees, international fees, and annual fees.
A Good Time to be in Fintech
The success of Petal can be seen as a reflection of a growing trend in successful fintech startups as the whole. According to CB Insights, fintechs raised a record $39.57 billion in funding last year. This number marks a 120% increase over 2017. In the last quarter of 2018 alone, five fintech startups achieve unicorn status.
Is 2019 the Year of Credit Card Startups?
According to Petal CEO and co-founder Jason Gross, “If you look at the projections for 2019, this is the year where the fintechs break out in the credit card category the same way fintechs revolutionized stock trading, banking, and personal lending. Before the days of Lending Club and Prosper banks controlled nearly 100% of the consumer lending market share. Now we see that online offerings make up 35% of the overall market.”
Petal, which is on the Visa network, typically charges between 15.24% to 26.24% interest with most card limits between $500 and $10,000. The average credit limit is reportedly a few thousand dollars.