Upper90 Secures $180M for Fund III Launch to Help Startups Access Credit

Upper90, a provider of hybrid growth capital, has raised $180 million in “a capped initial closing for its third fund.”

Commitments came from “a strategic investor base of 300 entrepreneurs to help founders scale with less dilution.”

The firm claims it has “pioneered a new investment model combining tailored credit and equity for alignment with technology businesses that have predictable revenue or collateral.”

Since raising Fund I in 2018, Upper90 manages and “has syndicated over $2.2 billion across 43 portfolio companies generating attractive risk adjusted returns through asset-backed credit structures.”

Upper90 was “an initial institutional capital partner to some of today’s fastest-growing e-commerce and fintech startups including Octane, Crusoe Energy, Mundi, Thrasio, Filmrise, Heroes, Clutch, Karat, Beacon and Settle.”

The firm was “built around an investor base of proven operators who provide access to proprietary opportunities and strategic advice to portfolio companies, creating a competitive advantage.”

With Fund III, Upper90 will “continue to lead with founder-friendly credit, helping businesses solve their most pressing capital needs, while maximizing ownership and control.”

Billy Libby, co-founder and CEO of Upper90, said:

“Over the last 10 years, founders have faced fifty percent dilution through Series B rounds. Upper90-backed founders, conversely, own materially more by utilizing credit earlier for the healthier parts of their businesses. With pressure on valuations, access to alternative financing solutions is top of mind. Ninety percent of the world’s data has been created over the last year, which has personalized every part of our lives, and we launched Upper90 because there should be a similar trend in how startups are capitalized.”

Jason Finger, co-founder and Chairman of Upper90 and co-founder of Seamless-GrubHub, remarked:

“Somewhere along the way founders started getting judged on how much money they raised instead of how much ownership they retained. This is backwards. Debt has been viewed as a four-letter word but, in reality, by looking at how it is utilized in real estate, it is clear that online business models that have predictability or asset collateral can massively enhance equity returns by being thoughtful with credit.”

Martin Pustilnick, Founder and CEO of Mundi, added:

“Certainty, flexibility, then cost are the most important factors when choosing your initial financing partner. Upper90 is a credit firm that thinks like an equity owner. Their bespoke facility helped us capture market share quickly and scale more efficiently. Any fintech startup would benefit from having Upper90 in their capital structure.” 

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