- Upgrade is acquiring travel-focused BNPL company Uplift for $100 million.
- The company will use the purchase to build on its existing BNPL offerings.
- Uplift had raised $700 million and was reportedly valued at $195 million during its 2019 Series C round.
Uplift was founded in 2014 to serve as a BNPL option for U.S. and Canadian consumers at the point-of-sale when booking travel experiences at 300 major travel brands ranging from airlines to cruise companies to resorts. By selecting Uplift at the point-of-sale when booking their travel online, the company’s 3.3 million users can spread the cost of their purchase across multiple months and repay in fixed installments.
Upgrade offers personal loans and digital banking tools including credit cards, checking accounts, and savings accounts. While it doesn’t offer any BNPL tools, the company says its credit cards “combine the flexibility of a credit card with the predictability of a personal loan.”
Upgrade will use today’s acquisition to build its presence in the BNPL space. The company states that travel financing fits within its strategy of making credit available at the point of sale to finance “meaningful expenses.” Upgrade currently focuses on helping its users finance practical expenses such as buying a car or making home improvements, and –with Uplift’s expertise– will be able to enter the travel vertical, as well.
As Upgrade Cofounder and CEO Renaud Laplanche explained, “The Uplift team has established the company as the leading BNPL provider in the travel industry, and we look forward to combining forces to make travel more accessible and affordable for millions of consumers, and over time implement similar solutions in adjacent parts of our customers’ lives.”
Prior to today’s acquisition, Uplift had raised $700 million in combined debt and equity and was reportedly valued at $195 million during its 2019 Series C round.
Headquartered in California with an operations center in Arizona and a technology center in Canada, Upgrade is partnered with Cross River Bank and Blue Ridge Bank for credit lines and banking services, NYDIG for Bitcoin rewards, and Sutton Bank for card issuance. The company has delivered $24 billion in credit via its cards and loans since 2017.