In Record-Breaking Year, Aura Closes $210M Through Its Social Bond Securitization Program

Aura (formerly Insikt) completed a total of eight issuances in 2018, closing one, on average, every six weeks through its proprietary securitization platform.

SAN FRANCISCO-- Aura, a leading FinTech CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution) disrupting the predatory lending category, announced its latest and final social impact bond issuance for the year. Aura has successfully raised $210 million in 2018, backed by 174,447 of its responsible, credit-building consumer loans. This has propelled the total securitization volume to $353 million, over nineteen issuances, since the program’s inception in 2013. The latest social bond issuance marks Aura’s eighth placement in 2018, a record for the company, and, arguably, the industry in a one-year time span, highlighting the power of recycling capital back into low-income communities.

Aura has built significant momentum in social impact investing as it makes headway with its social bond platform supporting the company’s mission to bring more families into the opportunity economy. This innovation represents a new class of bonds that allows traditional investors, banks and social impact funds to meet growing demands for social returns while putting capital back into underserved communities.

“We know the 'American Dream' takes good credit. In the US, there is a major credit crisis in low-income communities, widening the chasm between the haves and the have nots,” said James Gutierrez, founder and CEO of Aura. “Aura’s approach is a game-changer for the social capital world that allows us to expand our loan-making services to people in need at increasingly lower costs.”

“We are extremely excited about the success and continued growth of our social bond program and the difference it is making in bringing families into the opportunity economy,” said Ege Tanor, Vice President of Capital Markets at Aura. “Our CDFI designation was a major win for our borrowers because it provided an avenue for banks to use their capital to fund loans that help low income families.”

Moving forward, Aura’s 2019 goal for the program is to accelerate investor portfolio expansion to a wider audience of banks, foundations and eligible accredited investors looking for scalable social impact with a meaningful return.

About Aura:

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.

Aura Team