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Fintech firm Upgrade's valuation nearly doubles to $6.28 billion

By Reuters

-Financial technology company Upgrade Inc said on Tuesday its latest funding round, led by investment firms Coatue Management and DST Global, nearly doubled its valuation to $6.28 billion.

The company, which offers low-cost credit and mobile banking to consumers, raised $280 million in a funding round that was also backed by Dragoneer Investment Group and Ribbit Capital, among other firms.

The move comes three months after Upgrade raised $105 million in a previous round at a valuation of $3.4 billion.

Global investors such as Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global and SoftBank Group Corp have ramped up bets in the fintech space as the pandemic has changed how consumers use financial services.

Corporate cards company Ramp, fintech giant Chime and Spectral Finance, a firm that helps businesses calculate credit scores, are among the companies that have raised funds in the recent months.

The San Francisco, California-based company said it hit unicorn status last year, and has delivered more than $10 billion in credit since its inception in 2017. It said it is on track to deliver $8 billion in credit in 2021.

The company’s upgrade card allows users to turn credit balances into a fixed-rate installment plan and holders are also rewarded for paying down their balance. It recently launched an upgrade bitcoin rewards card, a credit card that pays rewards in bitcoin rather than cash.