SAN DIEGO – Sorrento Valley fintech institution Vervent has struck a deal to receive $180 million in funding from global investment firm Castlelake L.P. to finance origination for its credit card programs. Castlelake – which manages $22 billion in real assets, specialty finance and aviation assets – will help support Vervent’s Revvi, Total Card and First Access unsecured credit card affiliates.
“This funding will allow us to offer more valuable card products to consumers who really need them,” Vervent SVP Marketing & Business Development Blythe Lawton wrote to the Business Journal. “Non-prime consumers are being bombarded with offers for various forms of credit. Personal loan companies, payday lenders, pawn shops, check cashing centers and other similar types of lenders are vying for the attention of the same consumer. Our offerings to these consumers are superior in many ways.”
Vervent, Lawton explained, reports customers’ repayment history regularly to credit reporting agencies, allowing customers to build credit and establish a pathway to securing additional credit offers in the future.
“We offer rewards programs to incentivize consumers for building good habits in repayment of their obligations. We provide credit monitoring services so that consumers can actually keep track of their credit scores and credit reports. We offer much greater utility with the advantages present in a credit card as compared to these other lending vehicles,” she added.
Minneapolis-based Castlelake has invested more than $4 billion in asset-based private credit and originated or acquired more than 17 million consumer receivable accounts since 2015.
“Castlelake is pleased to continue supporting Vervent’s efforts to provide access to high-quality non-prime credit card programs,” said John Lundquist, Partner, Specialty Finance at Castlelake. “Further, we believe this transaction enables our investors to gain interesting exposure to the sizable consumer credit opportunity set.” Lawton added, “Many consumers understand the value proposition as compared to these other types of financial products, and this funding will help us to support the demand that exists and give consumers what we feel is a much better option than some of the competing loan types referenced.”
In addition to its credit card programs and servicing, Vervent specializes in loan and lease servicing, backup/capital markets services and managed services. Roughly 600 of the company’s 1,500-person team are based locally.
“Notable partners we can disclose include KCD PR, Vista Printing, Proxim, along with many others,” shared Lawton. “We continue to expand and reinvest in our business as well as seek partnership and acquisition opportunities that will help us continue to be stronger and offer best-in-class financial services across the consumer and B2B segments.”
Last year, Vervent announced the acquisition of Smiles on Demand, a high-performance BPO organization in the Philippines. The year before, the company acquired First Equity Card Corporation. “Only time will tell, but in five years we believe Vervent will have achieved 3-10x growth, greater global expansion and will be offering more consumers and businesses quality financial services,” Lawton added.
FOUNDED: 2008 as First Associates
FOUNDER & CEO: David Johnson
HEADQUARTERS: Sorrento Valley
EMPLOYEES: 600 local, 1500 total
NOTABLE: Vervent was voted as one of the nine best workplaces in San Diego by Comparably.