Aura Closes $45 Million Social Bond Issuance Led by WebBank
Bank investors have helped propel INSIKT’s social bond program to $298 million in just two years.
SAN FRANCISCO- Aura (formerly known as Insikt), a technology powered CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution) disrupting the predatory lending industry, completed a $45 million private social bond issuance as part of its mission to accelerate financial inclusion and invest capital into low-income communities in America.
This marked Aura’s first securitization in 2019 backed by 33,805 responsible, credit-building loans. In 2018, Aura completed eight social bond issuances, for a total of $210 million. This latest placement brings Aura’s total capital raised to $298 million over 12 social bond issuances since 2017 which have helped fund 242,752 loans to hard-working families.
Millions of working families in America lack access to safe and affordable loans and are vulnerable to predatory lenders. Working with financial institutions like WebBank, Aura is able to provide borrowers with affordable loans that have saved them hundreds of millions of dollars in additional fees and interest by avoiding predatory options.
“At WebBank, we work with innovative financial technology companies like INSIKT to make lending more inclusive and accessible in our nation,” said Jason Lloyd, Executive Vice President of Strategy & Business Development. “Our investment in Aura’s social bonds has provided us compelling economic returns while helping INSIKT provide loans to working-families in America. This will help open doors of opportunity to hard working consumers and create new paths to financial security.”
“It has been a privilege working with WebBank as an investor in our social bonds since early 2018,” said James Gutierrez, CEO and Founder of Aura. “WebBank is leading the way in forging partnerships that are modernizing the ways in which borrowers obtain safe and affordable loans. Their latest investment will help Aura serve more working families across America and further our mission of expanding access to capital in low-income communities.”
WebBank is an FDIC insured, state-chartered industrial bank headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was organized under the laws of the State of Utah in 1997 and operates under federal banking law. Through its industrial bank charter, WebBank offers a wide variety of products either directly to its consumer customers via savings accounts and time deposits, or through our Strategic Partnerships, providing niche financing solutions to businesses and consumers.
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 its proprietary scoring algorithms. Currently available in nearly 1,200 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 INSIKT’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, INSIKT aims to end reliance on 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, a CDFI and one of Time Magazine’s Top 50 Most Genius Companies in 2018.