Aura Closes $26 Million Social Bond Securitization With New Impact Investor Amalgamated Bank
Amalgamated Bank, with its history of serving thousands of labor unions, non-profits, and social impact enterprises, joined Aura’s (formerly Insikt) securitization program as a new investor
SAN FRANCISCO-- Aura, a certified CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution) FinTech company disrupting the predatory lending industry, recently closed a private social impact bond issuance of $26M as part of its mission to accelerate financial inclusion in America and invest capital into its low-income communities.
This marked Aura’s fifth securitization in 2018 backed by 21,000 responsible, credit building loans. Averaging about one securitization every six weeks, Aura has completed a total of over $130 million this year in social bond issuances. This placement brings Aura’s total securitization volume to $273M across 16 issuances since the inception of Aura’s securitization program in 2013. It comes on the heels of Aura’s $25M issuance on June 28, 2018.
Rooted firmly in the labor movement, Amalgamated Bank is a champion of working people across the country striving to make the world a more just, compassionate and sustainable place. Amalgamated is America’s largest certified B Corp bank and, for nearly a century, has served as America’s largest socially responsible bank.
“At Amalgamated, we don’t give lip service to responsible lending. We have a long history of delivering on it. This is why we align so well with Aura. How they structure their securitization program gives us the confidence that our investment will make a meaningful difference in the communities that need it most, while providing a healthy return for our shareholders – which is even more important now that we are a public company. Our relationship with Aura is the ultimate social impact strategy and a truly measurable model for creating sustainable financial inclusion nationwide. We encourage other financial institutions, foundations and private investors to come on board and participate in this effort because a rising tide really can lift all boats,” said Amalgamated Bank’s CEO, Keith Mestrich.
“It is an honor to welcome Amalgamated Bank to our family of investors,” said James Gutierrez, CEO and Founder of Aura. “Amalgamated Bank is known and respected for their commitment to building a more just and compassionate society. We at Aura have deep respect for Keith Mestrich’s 25-year legacy in the labor movement and are thrilled to work together on creating a more inclusive financial system. Our social bond platform enables the alignment of our values and the opportunity to expand access to capital in low-income communities.”
Aura is a technology-powered, CDFI that provides small, affordable loans to working families in America. Aura’s mission is to build financially healthy low-income communities by providing empowering financial services to America’s 66-million underbanked and unbanked. Aura has pioneered a cloud-based lending technology that enables trusted local businesses to submit credit applications for centralized review and approval by Aura’s proprietary scoring algorithms. Currently available in over 850 locations across California, Texas, Illinois and Arizona, Aura has provided hundreds of thousands of credit-building, responsible loans to low-income households since launching in 2014. We’re proud that 67% percent of Aura’s repeat customers grow their credit score by an average of 312 points from their first to second loan. By leveraging technology to reach more geographies and working families across America, Aura aims to end reliance on predatory lending and the payday loan industry’s 23,000 store footprint. Aura was founded in 2012 by James Gutierrez, Kevin Kang, and Randy Wong. All three founders helped create and scale Oportun, recently named by Time Magazine as one of the Top 50 Genius Companies in 2018.