Aura Closes $50 Million Social Bond Issuance with Varadero Capital, L.P. as Lead Investor

Varadero has invested more than $80 million in Aura’s bond issuances since 2015

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Aura, a mission-driven financial technology company that offers affordable loans to hard-working families, this week completed a $50 million private social bond issuance as part of its mission to accelerate financial inclusion and invest capital into low-income communities in America.

This is Aura’s largest social bond issuance to date, and it will provide the capital needed to fund 32,561 affordable, credit-building loans. This latest bond issuance brings Aura’s total capital raised to over $403 million across 21 bond issuances, which have helped fund 283,469 loans.

Millions of working families in America lack access to safe and affordable loans and are vulnerable to predatory lenders. Working with investors like Varadero Capital, L.P., Aura is able to provide borrowers with affordable loans that have saved borrowers hundreds of millions of dollars in additional fees and interest by avoiding predatory options.

“We have been investing with Aura for the past four years because we strongly believe in the company’s mission and credit culture,” said Fernando Guerrero, Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Varadero Capital. “Not only do these bonds provide compelling returns for our investors, but they support affordable loans to hard-working people who might not otherwise be able to obtain access to capital. By seeing borrowers as more than their credit score, Aura is setting the standard for responsible small balance loan origination.”

“We are proud to have worked with Varadero on two-thirds of our social bond issuances since 2015,” said James Gutierrez, CEO and Founder of Aura. “Our shared values reinforce our mutual investment in building a responsible credit culture rooted in a borrower’s ability to repay. This latest investment will help Aura serve more working families across America and further our mission of expanding access to capital in low-income communities.”

About Varadero Capital, L.P.

Founded in 2009, Varadero Capital is a value-driven alternative investment manager with more than $2 billion in assets under management. Varadero makes investments across specialized credit markets with a focus on achieving capital preservation and delivering uncorrelated risk-adjusted returns. Varadero is an active investor in specialty finance assets, both through securitization markets as well as in whole loan form.

About Aura:

Aura is a technology-powered, Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that provides small, affordable loans to working families in America. Aura’s mission is to build financially healthy low-income communities by providing empowering financial services to America’s 66-million underbanked and unbanked. Aura has pioneered a cloud-based lending technology that enables trusted local businesses to submit credit applications for centralized review and approval by its proprietary scoring algorithms.

Currently available in nearly 1,200 locations across California, Texas, Illinois and Arizona, Aura has provided hundreds of thousands of credit-building, responsible loans to low-income households since launching in 2014. Aura was founded in 2012 by James Gutierrez, Kevin Kang, and Randy Wong. All three founders helped create and scale Oportun, a CDFI and one of Time Magazine’s Top 50 Most Genius Companies in 2018.


Scott Gerber

Release Summary

Aura Closes $50 million Social Bond Issuance with Varadero Capital, L.P. as Lead Investor


Scott Gerber