Yendo Raises $24 Million for Vehicle-Secured Credit Card
A startup offering a credit card secured by customers’ auto title has just closed a significant venture round.
About the funding round:
This week, Yendo announced that it had raised $24 million. The Series A was led by FPV Ventures, while existing investors Human Capital and Autotech Ventures also participated. As part of the deal, FPV Ventures co-founder and managing partner Wesley Chan will join Yendo’s board of directors.
Previously, Yendo closed an $8.5 million seed round in 2021 followed by a $60 million debt financing deal last year. With this latest capital, the company plans to make key hires, improve the product experience, and expand into additional states.
Yendo and how it works:
Yendo offers a line of credit that’s secured via the value of a consumer’s vehicle. As a result, those who might not have stellar credit scores can still access up to $10,000 in revolving credit. Plus, the Yendo card will also help those customers build credit as they make on-time payments.
To get started, applicants can gain pre-approval on Yendo’s site. This includes submitting photos of the vehicle and the title as well as confirming details, such as mileage. Upon pre-approval, customers will need to hand over their title at one of 93,000 partner locations. Once this is completed and users are fully approved, they’ll receive a digital credit card near-instantly while a physical card will follow in the mail.
As mentioned, the line of credit that consumers have access to will be based on the value of the vehicle — ranging from $450 to $10,000. Just like a regular credit card, balances are due 25 days after the statement closing. On that note, as customers make on-time payments, they’ll be reported to both Experian and Equifax.
According to Yendo’s site, there is a $40 annual fee for the service. Additionally, the APR for purchases is currently 24.99%.
What they’re saying:
Commenting on the idea behind Yendo, the company’s co-founder and CEO Jordan Miller said, “The current financial system is not set up to serve everyone. As a result, millions of Americans lack access to affordable lending options, leading many to rely on high-interest, non-bank financial products, which costs them billions of dollars annually. We want to transform the way Americans interact with financial services by building a product that can expand access to affordable credit, regardless of consumers’ credit scores.” Regarding the Series A, Miller added, “We’re confident this funding will help expedite our growth so we can continue to scale our business and product to help more people.”
FPV co-founder and new Yendo board member Chan said, “We’re excited to partner with Jordan and the Yendo team. Jordan is a brilliant product developer who has created a product that provides access to affordable credit to a population of consumers who have historically had terrible lending options, if any. This helps level the playing field for consumers and we’re thrilled to back this mission and team.”
Like with Pesto (a card secured via precious metals or other valuables), I find the idea of Yendo to interesting — but I’m not sure it’s exactly a good one. While it may be preferable to auto-title loans or other options of that variety, many consumers are likely better served with a traditional secured card. Of course, $24 million in venture capital says otherwise, so who am I to argue?