SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aura, a mission-driven financial technology company that offers affordable loans to hard-working families, this week disbursed its 500,000th loan.
Since its first loan, Aura has provided more than $672 million to borrowers at approximately 1,250 partner locations using technology that enables local businesses to administer loan applications. Currently, Aura’s average loan size is around $1,400.
“This major milestone comes at a time of rapid growth for our company,” said Aura CEO James Gutierrez. “We’ve now approved half a million loans for individuals with no or low credit with very low losses. Our loans not only help build credit scores, but they also instill dignity and respect among our borrowers and hope for their financial futures.”
Separately, Deloitte recently named Aura to its Technology Fast 500 list, which identifies the fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech companies in North America. Aura was ranked #39 in the Bay Area and #235 nationally.
Additionally, the San Francisco Business Times named Aura to its Top 100 fastest-growing private companies list for the second year in a row. Last year, Aura was #23, and this year the company jumped up six spots to #17.
“This recognition is a sign of Aura’s continued momentum as more families see how our affordable loans can help them achieve their dreams,” said Gutierrez. “I want to thank the entire Aura team. You are the best in the business, and this recognition would not have been possible without all of your hard work.”
Millions of working families in America lack access to safe and affordable loans and are vulnerable to predatory lenders. Aura is able to provide borrowers with affordable loans that have saved them $400 million in additional fees and interest by avoiding predatory options. Additionally, two-thirds of Aura’s borrowers have grown their credit score by an average of 285 points from their first to second loan.
Aura loans are made possible in part by its social bonds. In total, Aura has raised over $560 million in social bonds across 26 bond issuances. The most recent issuance occurred in October for $35 million.
Aura also provides its borrowers with detailed financial education tools including free credit scores, a summary of what’s in their credit report, and a personalized budget, including expenses, DTI and tips for savings. Aura has also launched a new customer loyalty program known as “Aura Hearts” that offers benefits to borrowers who pay on time such as larger future loans, lower rates, and faster pre-approvals.
About Deloitte’s 2019 Technology Fast 500™
Now in its 25th year, Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 provides a ranking of the fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech companies — both public and private — in North America. Technology Fast 500 award winners are selected based on percentage fiscal year revenue growth from 2015 to 2018.
In order to be eligible for Technology Fast 500 recognition, companies must own proprietary intellectual property or technology that is sold to customers in products that contribute to a majority of the company's operating revenues. Companies must have base-year operating revenues of at least $US50,000, and current-year operating revenues of at least $US5 million. Additionally, companies must be in business for a minimum of four years and be headquartered within North America.
About SF Business Times Top 100 Fastest-Growing Private Companies
The SF Business Times Top 100 Fastest-Growing private companies is one of the most prestigious awards in Bay Area business. Companies on the list represent the best their industries have to offer. These are the extraordinary organizations that have shown meteoric growth and potential over the past three years.
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.