Ex-Citi, Comcast execs raise another $100M for FairSquare credit cards
Fair Square Financial LLC, the two-year-old, 50-worker Wilmington company that markets the Ollo credit card, says it has raised another $100 million from Orogen Group, the New York investment company headed by former Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit; Atairos Group, headed by former Comcast chief financial officer Michael Angelakis; and other investors.
Fair Square, which has lent MasterCard holders around $400 million since early last year (using the Bank of Missouri’s lending powers), is one of a string of software-intensive lenders and financial service firms that have sprung up in Wilmington in recent years, capitalizing on the area’s concentration of credit card managers and workers.
Pandit said Ollo’s “superior underwriting” and its “latest data and machine learning technology” give it an edge in lending to “middle class Americans,” in competition with the handful of big banks that dominate MasterCard and Visa, the main U.S. credit card networks.
Ollo’s Rewards MasterCard charges borrowers almost 25 percent a year, and gives them back 2 percent of purchases as a premium. The Orogen investment “validates our business strategy and management team,” said Rob Habgood, the former Capital One and Bank of America executive who is now chief executive of Fair Square, in a statement. He said the new money would keep the company growing.
JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America, Barclaycard, Capital One, Citi, Discover and other card giants have operations in the Wilmington area, which 20 years ago was home to the nation’s largest independent credit card lenders, the former MBNA, First USA and Advanta banks.
by Joseph N. DiStefano
The Inquirer, Daily News,Philly.com
MAY 15, 2018 — 1:16 PM EDT
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