TAMPA, Fla. (September 15, 2021) – Florida Funders, a hybrid of a venture capital fund and an angel investor network recognized as the top VC in the Southeast region by Pitchbook, announced its seventh investment from its Fund 2 in Grow Credit, a first-of-its-kind financial product that allows the estimated 100 million consumers with no credit or thin credit reports to establish and build credit for free using their existing subscription accounts.
Grow Credit helps users easily build credit through the individuals’ recurring monthly subscription payments. The program is structured as an installment loan accessed through a Grow Credit Mastercard that consumers can apply for in a matter of minutes. Grow Credit accounts must be repaid in full each month via electronic payment from a linked bank account. The company then reports users’ Grow repayments to TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax, giving their customers an opportunity to demonstrate positive repayment history and build credit.
Florida Funders invested in Grow Credit’s $106MM seed round from the Florida Funders’ Fund 2, LLC, supporting Grow Credit’s investment in product development and marketing strategies to accelerate user acquisition.
In an analysis of over 13,000 Grow Credit users through March 2021, 84% of premium accounts and 74% of free accounts saw a positive change in their FICO score, with a +20 point median increase over 3 months, +30 point median increase over 6 months, and a +51 point median increase over 12 months. The company has established a network of partnerships with banks, credit bureaus, and other financial institutions including Marqeta, Mastercard, Blue Ridge Bank, MRV Banks, Sutton Bank, Bridge Bank, FICO, Experian, Transunion, and Equifax.
“Credit is a cornerstone of financial life in the United States that can either open or close the door on a multitude of opportunities. Grow Credit is the modern-day solution this generation and the next need for building and/or repairing credit,” said Tom Wallace, managing partner at Florida Funders. “Grow Credit’s traction is already having an immense effect on individuals credit history. Not only are they improving credit scores but improving financial health.”
Florida Funders was also impressed by Grow Credit’s Founder and CEO, Joe Bayen, a passionate entrepreneur who moved to Paris at two years old from Cameroon. Joe received a track and field scholarship from the University of Miami where he graduated on the Dean’s list with a B.A. in International Finance & Marketing. In early 2015, Joe founded Lenny Credit, a credit score improvement platform, and also founded ICS Mobile, the company that supported the iPhone Free App a Day and earned a lifetime revenue of $18.3 million over the course of 3.5 years.
“A good credit history has the ability to impact so many areas of our lives, yet there is a big gap in accessibility for certain demographics such as young adults or immigrants who may have had little to no credit history in their home countries,” said Bayen. “Grow Credit exists to bridge that gap and aid individuals using payments they are already making. As an immigrant myself, I’ve been there and I know what it feels like.”
Florida Funders is constantly and actively looking to grow and add investors to their network. They have fully deployed their Fund 1 and are hard at work seeking new investment opportunities. For more information on Florida Funders, please visit www.floridafunders.com. Keep up with the latest news from Florida Funders on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.