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Fintech Lender Avant Courts Big Banks With Launch Of SaaS Business

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Fintech Lender Avant Courts Big Banks With Launch Of SaaS Business
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Personal loan startup Avant announced today that it would spin off its lending infrastructure tech business into a new platform, Amount. The business builds consumer lending products for major banks based on the technology backbone that Avant’s lending line has already built out.

“Avant is two businesses under one roof — one is the lending company, and the other is a pure technology company supporting large banking institutions,” Avant CEO Al Goldstein said in an interview with Benzinga. “If banks don’t want to devote hundreds of millions of dollars and years of work to build their own lending technology, Amount can help them do that with a lower dollar investment and a higher likelihood of success.”

A Pattern Of Bank, Startup Collaboration

The move follows a macro trend in fintech in which banks have partnered with fintech lenders in order to bring the startups’ credit products to their customers. Most notably, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) partnered with small business lender On Deck Capital Inc (NYSE: ONDK) in 2016 to offer its business loans as part of its Chase Business Quick Capital product line.

Avant itself partnered with Regions Financial Corp (NYSE: RF) in a similar manner in 2016.

Banks like Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS) have the capital and talent to build these products internally, as evidenced by its Marcus loan product. Yet not all banks, even those in the $100-billion-plus range that Amount targets, have the capability or wherewithal to invest in the creation of such businesses, Goldstein said.

Amount targets “the top 50 banking institutions by assets,” and Goldstein said the company has already crafted partnerships with four “large” banks that are live on the platform and building digital loan products.

One of the partners is a “top 10” U.S. bank; Goldstein declined to name the company. One partner bank is U.K.-based, the CEO said. 

$6B In 6 Years

Amount will also offer banks the capability to build savings products, credit decision-making technology, anti-credit card fraud technology and other products in addition to lending.

“The long-term goal is to offer off-the shelf capabilities that will work for the top 1,000 banks,” Goldstein said.

Goldstein will “effectively” be CEO of the Avant lending business and Amount, but James Paris, Avant's chief strategy officer, will lead Amount’s operations. Avant President Adam Hughes runs lending operations.

Avant has originated $6 billion in loans in six years.

The CEO of Spring Labs, another Avant offshoot, will speak at the Benzinga Fintech Summit in San Francisco Nov. 14.

Courtesy photo.

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