StellarFi Raises $15M Series A to Double Headcount
“I’ve built a unicorn [tech company] before, and I’ve been in a very high-growing company before but this is the fastest-growing company I’ve ever been a member of,” Lamine Zarrad, CEO and founder of StellarFi, told Built In.
StellarFi, which was a previous Built In Future 5 company, helps people build their credit scores. The company acts as a payment portal where users can pay for monthly services like Netflix, gym memberships and other recurring payments and have those payments reported to credit bureaus on behalf of the user. By submitting the payments as on-time payments, StellarFi members on average raise their credit scores by 26 points in their first month using the platform, according to the company.
The latest round was led by Acrew Capital and netted StellarFi $15 million in a Series A round. The funding will be used to double the company’s current 27-person headcount and launch several new features. The round brings StellarFi’s total amount raised to $22 million.
One of the new features is a marketplace where users who have improved their credit scores can find and shop for loans. According to Zarrad, StellarFi users can get better rates on loans because they use the StellarFi platform to repay said loans. This, according to StellarFi, makes users less likely to default or miss their payments.
“We’re going to find you the best rate that you wouldn’t be able to find yourself out in the free market. The reason we’re able to get you the best rate is that we’re building these partnerships with a ton of different lenders,” Zarrad said. “We’re building a marketplace to get personal loans, to get car loans and all the things that virtually every American needs. You’ll be able to get it all in one place just because you pay bills there.”
Zarrad founded StellarFi in 2021. At the age of 16, he and his family immigrated to the U.S. and as a result, Zarrad grew up not understanding the importance of having good credit. He recalled having a bad credit score and decided to launch StellarFi to teach others about the importance of credit scores and help them build their scores.
“The definition of a credit score has expanded far beyond lending,” Zarrad said. “People use credit scores to qualify someone for a job. Credit scores are used in car insurance and various other insurance products where there’s very little to do with the repayment and more to do with your moral character.”
Prior to launching StellarFi, Zarrad was a U.S. Marine. He also founded risk management startup Tokken and fintech company Joust, which was acquired by ZenBusiness in 2020.