Elevate Credit, VC-backed Online Lender, Postpones Its IPO

By Staff Writer

Jan 23, 2016 04:13 AM EST

Due to volatile market condition, Elevate Credit delays its IPO. The company was listed to price its initial public stock offering on Thursday. The postponement also caused by uncertainty and high risk of the online subprime lending service.

According to Forbes, continuous markets reeling for the last three weeks have deterred companies to go public on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq in 2016. Elevate Credit is the last case.

Elevate was scheduled to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, as a celebration to the company hoped would be a $76 million raise after offering of 3.6 million shares at $20 to $22 each. However, following turbulence in stock market on Wednesday, the VC-backed company decided to hold off its pubic offering, which should be the first IPO in 2016.

CEO Ken Rees explained in the statement as quoted by  Thomson-Reuter PEHub, "Although the response to the marketing of our planned IPO has been very favorable, we recognize that the current market volatility makes it very difficult to price our offering at present."

"We will continue to evaluate the timing for the offering as market conditions develop. We believe our strong growth to date, and our responsible online credit products, make Elevate an exciting opportunity that we look forward to bringing to the market," Ken Rees said regarding the company's next plan.

Elevate was founded in 2014 in Forth Worth, Texas as a spin-off of ThinkFinance, the company that lead the next-generation online financial products for underbanked consumers. serving consumers whose financial needs are beyond regular banking. Similar to ThinkFinance, Elevate also backed by Sequoia Capital and Technology Crossover Ventures, two of the most respected venture capital firms in Silicon Valley.

The company is an online lender for subprime market, meaning Elevate Credit provides loan service to people who have no credit access from the bank. Subprime lending is characterized by higher interest rate, less collateral and less favorable terms. Elevate Credit offered variety of loans and lines of credit to borrowers in the U.S. and U.K., and some of its service are categorized as "payday" loans.

Wall Street Journal reported the note from analysts at Compass Point Research & Trading LLC on the Elevate Capital IPO. The analysts expected "muted" demand for Elevate Credit's offering, citing "increasing fears around consumer credit." It is because online lenders tend to have a declining valuation and there is a regulatory uncertainty regarding the payday-lending industry.

Since its founding in 2014, Elevate's revenue has grown by two-thirds over the first nine months of 2015 from a year earlier to $300 million. However, the nature of unpredictable risk of subprime lending service and market volatility is the main reason for the Dallas-based company to postpone its IPO.

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