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Marlette Funding raises $225M in equity stake

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Marlette Funding has secured $225 million in new private equity to continue growing the fintech lender in the Wilmington suburbs. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

WILMINGTON – The fast-growing fintech lending and credit operator Marlette Funding announced Thursday that it has raised $225 million in a Series E fundraising round to fuel its continued growth.

Marlette Funding CEO Jeffrey Meiler said that flexibility will be a selling point for his workforce. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

The 8-year-old private firm led by founder and CEO Jeffrey Meiler, a credit operation veteran who spent time at Juniper Bank, Barclays and Citi, had a record-breaking year in 2021, with $300 million in revenue and $4.6 billion of personal loans facilitated. Last summer, Marlette, which owns and operates the Best Egg suite of consumer products, also moved more than 400 employees to a new headquarters at The Concord off U.S. Route 202.

The fifth round of private equity capital raised was led by the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP), which manages over $80 billion in assets, with participation from investment funds advised by Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP, as well as a large international bank, Marlette reported.

“We are excited to welcome these top tier investors to Marlette,” Meiler said in a statement announcing the funding. “This capital round not only reflects the success and industry leading profitability of our personal loan business, but also the huge potential in our recently launched Best Egg Visa Credit Card product and Best Egg Financial Health, our financial wellness tool.”

Those new products saw strong demand in their first year, with 23,000 signing up for a credit card and 149,000 signing up for the financial health toolkit. Those gains come atop Marlette’s core personal loan product, which is aimed at near-prime consumers who fall short of metrics by larger lenders and has seen 1.1 million loans worth $16 billion facilitated over the company’s lifetime.

“Marlette is a fintech market leader with a proven track record of growing the business, delivering strong customer service and generating consistent results,” said Jennifer Shum, HOOPP assistant vice president of derivatives and fixed income, in a statement. “HOOPP is pleased to be a financial partner and to support Marlette’s continued innovation and growth, which will serve their customers while also helping to deliver retirement security to HOOPP members.”

The latest growth will be supported by an investment in credit card operations, led by Jason Swift, who was recently promoted to president of Best Egg credit card services.

“This capital raise allows us to fund our growing credit card business, explore expansions to our platform and evaluate additional strategic opportunities to create more value for our target consumer,” added Andrew Deringer, chief capital officer of Marlette.

Marlette currently has 444 employees after adding 250 positions last year, Meiler told Delaware Business Times earlier this week. With the success of its credit card operation, the firm is aiming to nearly double its headcount with 400 new employees this year – the vast majority of which would be based in Delaware, though remote work is expanding.

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