Progressa announces loan milestone, updates plan for IPO

Short-term lending platform Progressa has announced that it has surpassed a self-proclaimed milestone of $100 million in funded loans for customers. This comes after the FinTech launched enterprise software solutions at the end of last year and expressed plans for an IPO.

A decision about whether or not the FinTech company will go public will be made this year.

The Vancouver and Toronto-based FinTech company assists Canadians in building credit while paying off debt. Progressa said it uses non-traditional credit evaluation techniques, such as employment history and earning potential, to build a financial profile and allow its customers access to loans even if their traditional credit score is low.

“Progressa is about our customers borrowing for the right reasons and rebuilding their financial futures,” said Ali Pourdad, CEO at Progressa. “We are most proud that, along with the $100 million we have now surpassed, we’ve given our customers just as many reasons to rid themselves of their debt, and more importantly, their emotional stress.”

Last summer, Progressa announced a $84 million funding round. At the time the company said this was expected to be its last funding round, as it prepared for an IPO before the end of 2019.

However, Pourdad told BetaKit that Progressa may or may not decide to launch an IPO. He stated that Progressa is currently still exploring options, and that the company may end up staying private. He noted that as Progressa continues to grow, other private options became more attractive. A decision about whether or not the FinTech company will go public will be made this year Pourdad said.

In 2018, the company launched a suite of software solutions for collections enhancement and point-of-sale finance platforms. Progressa Score, a fifth generation proprietary credit scoring model, was created to analyze a borrower’s creditworthiness by assessing their real-time financial behaviour. The Score was created to assist other businesses in offering credit solutions to their customers, while protecting their brand.

Progressa said the Score has an 8 percent bad debt rate, and is used for collections segmentation and optimization by some of Canada’s largest enterprises and collection agencies. The company predicted last year that the Score would drive nearly $100 million of consumer loan funding before the end of 2018.

“[The Score] is more character, cash flow-driven and it allows enterprises to have a more appropriate lens on a consumer that might be going through credit challenges due to some sort of life event in the past,” Pourdad said.

He also noted that the company has plans to continue to work with enterprises in implementing Progressa Score, with plans to expand its Canadian customer base.

After raising a $11.4 million Series A round in 2015, Progressa partnered with Vancouver-based private lender Alpine Credits, and brought its online platform to Alpine Credit companies.

Since its inception in 2013, the company said over nine out of ten new customers who have paid off their collections with Progressa have seen a positive or neutral credit score migration.

“Today, the company has over 300 shareholders. Our objective is to do what’s right for our shareholders and get them a return,” Pourdad said. “We definitely want to keep being the socially responsible company that we are, we don’t want to get away from our roots. That’s going to be the trick for us, to continue to scale the business, but execute on our core objective, which is to help people.”

Image courtesy Progressa Twitter


Sera Wong

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