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Venture Capital News: Deserve Grabs $17M in Series C Funding

MENLO PARK, CA, Analytics-based financial technology company has raised $17 million in Series C funding.
Deserve, an analytics-based financial technology company that uses machine learning and alternative data to help people build credit and achieve financial independence, today announces it has raised $17 million in Series C funding led by a strategic investor, with additional participation from Accel, Aspect Ventures, Pelion Ventures, Mission Holdings, Alumni Venture Group and GDP Venture.

The company will use its largest round to date to further scale its platform and infrastructure and achieve its mission to help the 40 million college students and young adults in the US gain financial independence through access to fair credit.

Deserve has used the funding to introduce a brand new, user-friendly mobile application that allows Deserve cardholders to seamlessly manage finances, build credit and earn rewards. Unlike most finance management apps, the Deserve mobile app includes a financial literacy section comprised of credit education, videos and blogs to help users achieve financial independence and success. The app is designed and tailored to the lifestyles and needs of Gen Zers, who are tech-savvy and mobile-first, each spending, on average, four hours on their smartphone per day.

According to findings from Experian, Generation Z accounts for 25 percent of the US population and is projected to make up 40 percent of consumers by 2020. Experian also reports that members of Generation Z are more likely to pay off their monthly balances, and have higher average credit scores, than millennials aged 21-27, illustrating the value Generation Z places on financial independence.

Additionally, Deserve is teaming up with key partners to launch a new perks program that gives cardholders access to exclusive offers and enables them to fulfill the company's motto: Live Large, Be Smart, Do Good. Along with MasterCard Premium benefits like Car Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Travel Assistance Services, Extended Warranty, Roadside Assistance, Price Protection, and ID Theft Protection, Deserve cardholders are now eligible for the following perks:

· Amazon Prime Student. 18-month subscription for Deserve Edu cardholders, with access to thousands of Prime Video titles, two million songs on Prime Music, and over 1,000 Prime Reading titles

· T-Mobile. $100 off a new smartphone or tablet if you use your Deserve Edu card to pay for your new device

· MasterCard Cell Phone Insurance. Use your Deserve card to pay for your monthly cellphone bill and get coverage for up to $600 when your cell phone is stolen or damaged

· Lemonade. Pay for 3 consecutive monthly insurance statements with your Deserve card and get a $10 statement credit

· Feather. Use your Deserve card to rent furniture and get $100 off your first month's rental

· Wikipedia. Use your Deserve card to make a donation to the Wikimedia Foundation between May 4-31, 2018 and Deserve will match all donations up to a total of $5,000

"We are thrilled to introduce our perks program and mobile app in tandem to raising our largest equity round to date. We're another step closer to fulfilling our mission of expanding access to fair credit to all deserving, yet underserved populations," said Kalpesh Kapadia, CEO and founder of Deserve. "We have spent the last few years building a modern cloud-first infrastructure powered by machine learning to originate, process, and service credit cards, providing Gen Z with the means to achieve financial independence. This strategic investment is clear validation in our vision becoming a reality at scale."

Deserve provides millions of adults without a credit score the ability to access credit, even if they do not qualify for traditional lending based on the FICO system. FICO is based on your credit history, which young people who are just starting out naturally lack. Deserve opens the doors to credit for this huge demographic by using a proprietary algorithm to predict credit potential instead of only assessing credit history.

Deserve has helped tens of thousands of customers from over 160 countries at over 1,800 universities across all 50 states gain fair access to credit and achieve financial independence. The company has also been recognized for its work in redefining the way people access credit by Fast Company's World Changing Ideas Awards Program and the TiE50 Awards Program.

Financial Technology Partners ("FT Partners") served as Deserve's strategic and financial advisor on this transaction.

For more information about Deserve or to sign up for a card, please visit

To download the Deserve mobile app for iOS or Android, please visit the app store.

About Deserve
Deserve uses machine learning and alternative data to provide millennials and Gen Z's access to fair credit products and the tools to achieve financial independence. Deserve is a venture-backed fintech startup whose investors include Accel, Pelion Venture Partners, Aspect Ventures, Mission Holdings, Alumni Venture Group, Sparklabs Ventures, Fenway Summer Ventures and GDP Venture. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Accounts are issued by Celtic Bank, a Utah Chartered Industrial Bank, Member FDIC.
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