Today we’re announcing that we’ve decided to discontinue offering income share agreements on the Upstart platform. After significant soul searching, we concluded that it’s best to focus our efforts on the fixed-rate loan product we announced recently. We understand that this may be disappointing to many in the Upstart community, but as a young startup, we need to listen to what the market is telling us. Because so many of you are entrepreneurs yourselves, we’re hopeful you’ll understand our decision.
We’re still huge fans of income share agreements, and their potential to provide a better means of paying for college and funding aspiring entrepreneurs. From a regulatory perspective, the income share concept has been received warmly to date. And while many regulatory and policy efforts are underway to facilitate the development of the market, these efforts will likely take many years—a timeframe ill-suited for a startup like ours.
At the same time, the online lending market is growing very rapidly (per this article from Sunday’s New York Times), and there’s a significant opportunity to leverage education-related data to identify and lend to high quality borrowers who have minimal credit and work experience. Early response to our loan product is very encouraging, and we’ve decided to focus our efforts on this opportunity.
We’re already in communication with all those affected by this decision. We’d like to thank all who have supported our efforts to date, and hope you’ll continue to be active and supportive members of the Upstart community.
Dave Girouard, CEO