Online Lender Avant Raises $325 Million as JPMorgan Invests

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Avant Inc., the startup lender for borrowers with less-than-stellar credit, raised $325 million of equity in a funding round led by private-equity firm General Atlantic that also included JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Balyasny Asset Management and Tiger Global Management LLC also are investing in the round, which brings the company’s total equity raised to $659 million, according to Carolyn Blackman, a spokeswoman for Chicago-based Avant. She declined to discuss the venture’s valuation, which Fortune reported is more than $1 billion.

Avant is one of the biggest of the startups that are seeking to make it easier for people to borrow money, using new algorithms and sources of data to evaluate potential customers’ creditworthiness. The company generally charges interest rates of 9 percent to 36 percent.

“They’re doing all the things you’d expect a blue-chip financial institution to provide but in a much more convenient way,” said Jonathan Korngold, a managing director at General Atlantic. “They’re fair and transparent.”

Last month, Avant completed an inaugural $139 million securitization. The firm has originated more than $1.5 billion of loans since 2013. It will use the new money to offer other financial products and expand globally, Blackman said.

(An earlier version of this story corrected the amount raised.)