In the world of global fintech, anything can happen in a moment’s notice that changes either the world of one or many instantly. For Dave Girouard and his startup Upstart Holdings, the company recently had shares jump 89% in just one day, making it by far the best in the company’s history to date. The company is responsible for providing customers with loans which are affordable and reasonable based on the individual’s situation. Upstart Holdings actually went against the grain today as well, as the stock market as a whole saw losses while they increased. This resulted in Girouard’s fortune rising to over €1 billion, as he owns about 14% of the company. This ridiculous soar wildly exceeded expectations by analysts by being over three times the predicted value for the company in the fourth quarter and an increase of 42% in revenue from 2019 to 2020. The news is promising as Upstart Holdings actually decided to go public for the first time amidst the pandemic, which meant that there is still hope and promise for startups looking to gain their footing in these uncertain and unprecedented times.
This event has also allowed Upstart Holdings to proceed with new product testing and expanding their network of bank partnerships. With this comes their launch into the automotive sector, providing car loans and acquiring Prodigy which is a platform allowing users to buy cars completely online. Girouard sees huge potential in the online automotive industry, as it seems to be one of the only industries left behind by other large online retailers. He made the statement “While Amazon and Shopify have modernized the online shopping experience, the auto industry has been left behind. Auto retail is among the largest buy-now-pay-later opportunities, and together with Prodigy, we aim to help dealers create a seamless and inclusive experience worthy of 2021.” This is hopeful news, as of right now the largest name in online car shopping seems to be Carvana, which delivers cars straight to customers’ houses and allows up to one week to return the car entirely. However, Carvana only being a service offered in the United States, this leads the door open for another company to beat them at their own game and gain a strong international advantage before they can reach it. According to Upstart, what differentiates them is their technology which takes in factors such as customers’ employment history and education level to assess the best possible loan they could offer, being one of the most sophisticated widely used.