At fintech lending platform Stilt, Jessica Zhang and Alex Hegevall Clarke gained firsthand knowledge of the challenges facing businesses in the credit industry. They quickly realized that outfitting their in-house tech stacks to comply with strict federal and state regulations was not only expensive, but also incredibly time-consuming.
“Businesses, whether a venture-backed startup or even brick-and-mortar lenders, really struggle to launch products quickly and compliantly because of how fragmented existing solutions are and the high compliance hurdle,” Zhang explained to TechCrunch.
To address this problem, Zhang and Hegevall Clarke set out to create a solution that would simplify the process.
Introducing Pier: The Stripe for Credit
With Pier, companies can easily automate their own credit products by integrating the platform’s APIs with just a few lines of code. According to Zhang, this not only saves businesses months of labor, but also millions of dollars.
Pier’s technology is designed to manage the entire credit lifecycle, from origination and underwriting to compliance and servicing.
“Other companies have also been dubbed ‘Stripe for credit,’ like Setpoint, a startup that developed software for faster loan transactions. Even the popular payment processing company Stripe has recently expanded into the credit industry,” Zhang noted. However, Pier is unique in its approach, providing a continuous and dynamic process throughout each loan’s lifecycle.
A Comprehensive Offering
While other solutions on the market may address specific components of the credit lifecycle, such as underwriting or Know Your Customer (KYC), Pier offers a more comprehensive solution.
As a SaaS model, Pier charges a monthly fee that includes a minimum cost and a usage fee based on factors like loan volume, use case, and number of inquiries. Some of these use cases include credit builders, buy now, pay later options for weddings and clean energy, salary advance loans, merchant advances, and portfolio lines of credit.
Although Zhang did not disclose specific numbers, she revealed that the company has enough funding for several years and continues to grow its user base.
Securing Seed Funding
In 2023, Pier raised $2.4 million in seed funding from a group of investors, including Y Combinator, Liquid 2 Ventures, ACME, Horizon Ventures, and several angel investors like Morgan Stanley’s Brian Neer and former Morgan Stanley Fund Services CEO Seth Weinstein. Y Combinator partner Divya Bhat is also among the group of investors.
The funding will be used to invest in product development and build a strong team, positioning Pier as a leader in the credit industry.
With Pier, Zhang and Hegevall Clarke have created a game-changing solution that simplifies the complex process of credit management. As the company continues to develop and grow, it’s well-positioned to become the go-to provider for businesses in need of a streamlined credit offering.