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Type of business
San Francisco, California, United States
Earnest is a technology-enabled lender, headquartered in San Francisco that offers personal loans and student loan refinancing. The company uses software, and algorithms to evaluate a person’s full education, employment, and financial profile, looking beyond a traditional credit score (also known as a FICO score) in order to obtain a complete financial profile of each applicant. Earnest uses an online dashboard that gives clients tools to control and customize their loan payments by payment, amount, and time. The company does not charge origination or prepayment fees. Earnest’s mission is to offer low-cost credit to qualified individuals at lower rates than traditional banks and build a new bank for the next generation.
Leadership + Company History
The company was co-founded by CEO Louis Beryl, a former partner at Silicon Valley VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, and by COO Benjamin Hutchinson, who was most recently Head of Commercial Finance at BBC. The company first launched a personal loan product in Boston, Massachusetts in March 2014 due to the high concentration of young professionals in the area. Since launch, the company now lends in Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Earnest received $15M in seed funding from several VC firms, including Andreessen Horowitz, First Round Capital, Maveron, and Atlas Venture in 2014. This funding was a combination of equity and lending capital. On January 27, 2015, Earnest announced Series A equity funding of $17M led by Maveron, as well as the launch of