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LendingClub Founder Is Back and Wants to Replace Credit Cards

  • Laplanche stayed under the radar following LendingClub exit
  • New product blends aspects of credit cards with personal loans
Visa Inc. chip credit cards are arranged for a photograph in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Oct. 21, 2016. Visa is expected to release fourth-quarter earnings figures on October 24.
Visa Inc. chip credit cards are arranged for a photograph in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Oct. 21, 2016. Visa is expected to release fourth-quarter earnings figures on October 24.Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

LendingClub Corp. founder and former Chief Executive Officer Renaud Laplanche, who shocked the online lending industry with his controversial departure two years ago, is taking a stab now at shaking up credit cards.

Upgrade, his new San Francisco-based startup, is launching a personal credit line that’s meant to bring together the fixed-rate interest of a loan with the freedom of using a card. While LendingClub was largely used to help consumers refinance credit card debt, this new product is meant to be an alternative altogether.