FinTech Card Issuer Cardless Announces $75 Million Credit Facility
The FinTech credit card firm Cardless has secured a new means of capital as it looks to continue its expansion. This week, the company announced that it’d reached a deal with i80 Group, securing a three-year $75 million credit facility. In addition to the credit facility, Cardless has announced that Brian Kelly has invested in the company.
As the founder of the popular travel and credit card site The Points Guy, Kelly will also serve as an advisor to the firm. According to Cardless, Kelly also joins a roster of angel investors that includes founders of Netflix, Seat Geek, Bonobos, Plaid, and more.
While Cardless started by issuing rewards cards aimed at sports fans — including offerings from several professional sports teams in the NBA, MLB, and Premier League — the company has since expanded to include other verticals. For example, Cardless unveiled two co-branded cards with LATAM Airlines last year. Then, in January, the company rolled out the Simon American Express Card, featuring perks for shoppers at Simon Properties in general and at specific brands.
Meanwhile, looking at the Cardless site, it looks as though the firm has scaled back its sports offerings with only the Liverpool FC and Manchester United cards displayed. Previously, other products included cards from the Miami Marlins, Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, and more.
Announcing the new facility, Cardless co-founder and president Michael Spelfogel stated, “We are excited to announce this debt partnership with i80 Group, which will increase our ability to be flexible in providing innovative and unique custom co-branded credit card products. With this credit facility, we are continuing our work with top-tier partners such as LATAM Airlines, Simon Property Group, American Express, and Liverpool Football Club as well as expanding avenues for co-branded credit card solutions.”
Meanwhile, i80 Group managing director Peter Frank said of the arrangement, “We’re excited to partner with Cardless to support platform growth of their brand partners and credit card users. The Company’s understanding of brands, technology and financial services allows them to provide a unique offering to various stakeholders.”
From an outside perspective, it would seem as though Cardless is experiencing or has experienced some growing pains. For one, the apparent removal of many of its cards (or at least seemingly disallowing new applications) would seem to suggest that there wasn’t much interest in those offerings. Of course, at the same time, they’ve also acknowledged that by pivoting and entering other markets.
Second, it seems a bit telling that they opted for a credit facility rather than a full equity round. On that front, however, bringing in Brian Kelley as an investor and advisor seems like a smart move given his knowledge of the space. All in all, this news feels like a mixed bag for Cardless at a time when competition from other FinTech card companies grows. Still, this could also serve as a fresh reset for the company and ultimately help them as they move forward on a slightly different path.