NEW YORK, NY, Petal has raised $3.6M of venture capital.
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Petal Announces New Credit Card that Does Not Require Credit Scores
Petal uses machine learning to pioneer cash flow underwriting and safely make credit accessible without relying on credit scores.
Petal's new technology will radically expand credit access for an estimated 65M Americans, particularly among millennial consumers who have struggled to establish credit.
Petal designs a consumer-friendly digital experience that leverages behavioral science to help consumers manage credit and avoid costly debt.
Petal has raised $3.6M of venture capital to seed the program and support product launch. Major financial backers include Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, Afore Capital, Rosecliff Ventures, Guild Capital, Great Oaks Venture Capital, Story Ventures and Silicon Badia.
After two years of technology development in stealth, today Petal is announcing the first credit card designed for the estimated 65M Americans with no or misrepresentative credit scores. Instead, Petal uses machine learning to analyze, in real time, a consumer's full digital financial record, which enables Petal to properly assess the creditworthiness of new-to-credit consumers. With this new technology, underserved populations will benefit from safe and affordable credit, with higher limits, lower interest rates, and no fees whatsoever. In addition, Petal reinvents the digital experience of owning and using a credit card, with intuitive, mobile-first design and features engineered to help users make smart financial decisions.
"For New-to-Credit consumers, credit is sideways." says CEO and Co-founder Jason Gross. "Credit scores are notoriously unreliable and mischaracterize over 65M Americans, locking them out of the mainstream credit system. These consumers are disproportionately young, immigrant, minority and lower income - and predatory lenders, like payday lenders, have rushed in to fill the gap." Post-financial crisis, this trend has hit the millennial generation the hardest: credit card ownership among 18-29 year olds has dropped 60% in the last decade, creating a generation of underserved consumers with artificially low credit scores. "The generation that came of age during the financial crisis continues to be underserved by the banking industry, and without new solutions, will be increasingly disadvantaged as a result. Credit access is a critical building block for financial stability and homeownership."
Petal has partnered with VISA to make its credit card available to consumers. To apply for a Petal Visa credit card, a consumer provides a secure read-only access to their bank statements. Petal can verify a consumer's income, measure monthly expenses, and most importantly, assess a consumer's ability to afford a credit card. Using this information, Petal is able to identify customers who are "invisible prime" - consumers with no credit scores, but who have all the economic fundamentals of a prime consumer.
Petal is a safe and affordable credit card that is honest, simple and accessible. Petal has no fees (no annual fees, no international fees, not even late fees) and competitive introductory interest rates of 17.99 - 24.99%. In contrast to other introductory credit cards which routinely offer credit limits as low as $300, Petal can accurately measure a consumer's ability to pay and safely underwrite consumers with credit lines more than 10X higher than the competition.
Petal is designed to help consumers learn how to manage their first credit card and offers a digital-first experience that is in line with the expectations of younger consumers. Using the latest thinking in behavioral economics, Petal encourages consumers to pay off their balances in full each month and avoid costly debt. In the event that a consumer needs to borrow on the card, interest rate calculations are more transparent and easier to understand. Consumers interested in Petal can sign up for an early-access waitlist at http://www.petalcard.com
Petal is dedicated to making honest, simple credit available to those who deserve it. Petal is founded by technologists from Silicon Valley and seasoned credit card industry executives from financial institutions like JPMorgan Chase, Capital One, American Express, CitiBank and PayPal. Petal is backed by major venture capital and debt investors.