By Pete Rizzo (@pete_rizzo_)
LendUp burst onto the startup scene in 2011 with a strategy aimed at fixing three core issues in the current consumer lending space – 1. It’s lack of transparency; 2. It’s lack of education; and 3. It’s inability to provide consumers with the means to build up their creditworthiness (Jump to 1:09) .
Because of its ambitions, investors like Google Ventures, Data Collective and QED Investors have taken notice. The San Francisco-based startup revealed $14 million in new Series A financing on November 11, capital it now hopes to use to bring its solution to consumers nationwide.
However, such a refined pitch and resounding reception might not have been possible if Sasha Orloff, CEO and co-founder of LendUp, hadn’t attended PYMNTS.com’s Innovation Project 2013. There, Orloff had the opportunity to understand how his big idea could flourish by speaking firsthand with the payments industry’s foremost thought leaders.
“Once you learn about [payments], you’re able to create even better products and services for your customer by partnering with the large players in the space,” Orloff told PYMNTS.com. “It was absolutely incredible to be able to have the opportunity to present what we were doing, and after the expo we were bombarded with conversations from the heads of major banks and payments companies, to learn how they work and see how we could partner with them.”
Orloff notes that Innovation Project 2013 was instrumental in encouraging his team, providing them with a unique window into what was happening across the industry (Jump to 7:02) .
“Next year [at Innovation Project 2014], I have to share something big,” Orloff said. “I can’t just sit back on my laurels of having an innovative idea. It really inspires me and the team to push the envelope for our business to make sure we constantly innovate, constantly challenge assumptions and constantly come up with new and exciting things.”
How did Innovation Project 2013 help LendUp perfect its market approach (Jump to 4:29) , and what do Orloff and LendUp have planned for March 19 and March 20 when they return to Innovation Project 2014 (Jump to 8:36) ?
Find out by listening to our full podcast with Orloff below.
For more on how you can ensure you have the tools you need to bring your innovative idea fruition, or to see Orloff’s next big announcement firsthand, sign up for Innovation Project 2014 here.
*If you have trouble with the audio player above, click here.