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The financial services sector is under attack. New financial tech software platforms running artificial intelligence are coming to disrupt the way loans originate.
Executives at Upstart Holdings (UPST) announced on Wednesday that second quarter revenues increased 1,018% from a year ago. Bank partners originated 286,864 new loans during the quarter.
And the business is only getting started. Investors should still buy Upstart.
Let’s be clear about Upstart what it does. The company was built from the ground up to disrupt Fair Isaac and Co. (FICO). For decades banks have used FICO scores to access creditworthiness. Fair Isaac, the clear market leader, collected a nice fee for providing the data. It has been a tidy business with few competitors.
Upstart inputs data points like employment history, education, credit experience, bank transactions, and cost of living into a proprietary algorithm to assess creditworthiness. The company claims higher approval rates, lower defaults, and lower loan payments for consumers.
Banks love Upstart, too.
Partners wrote $2.8 billion in new loans during Q2, up 1,605% year-over-year. Conversion rates grew from 9% a year ago to 24% in the most recent quarter.
The take for Upstart was $194 million in sales. Total fee revenue was $187 million, up 1,308% year-over-year. And David Girouard, chief executive officer says there is more to come. The San Mateo, Calif.-based company is expecting Q3 revenue to reach between $205 million and $215 million, with profits in the range of $18 million to $22 million.
The potential of this business is huge.
Keep in mind that right now Upstart is focused only on personal loans. Girouard said in March that the acquisition of Prodigy Software would help the firm move into auto loans.
This growth story can certainly support much higher share prices.
Upstart shares surged to $171.20 Wednesday following the results. A simple rally to the top of the current trading range would carry the stock to $235, a move of 64% from current levels.
Disruptive companies are explosive. This story is in the early stages.