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  • Upgrade, Inc. Appoints Western Union Executive as General Counsel

    Consumer credit platform builds up executive team as it scales loan volume

    SAN FRANCISCO - September 6, 2017

    Upgrade, Inc. (http://www.upgrade.com), the new consumer credit platform launched by LendingClub founder Renaud Laplanche earlier this year, today announced the appointment of John Dye as General Counsel. Prior to joining Upgrade, John was Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of The Western Union Company. He was also Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Western Union Foundation.

    “John is a great addition to the team,” said Upgrade co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Renaud Laplanche. “He offers a unique combination of financial services and regulatory experience with a desire to innovate and build better credit products that will change the lives of millions.”

    Before joining Western Union in November 2011, John was Senior Vice President, Interim General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Freddie Mac from July 2011. From 2007 to July 2011, John served as Senior Vice President, Principal Deputy General Counsel, Corporate Affairs of Freddie Mac, where he worked on corporate transactions and managed attorneys in the areas of corporate disclosure, securities, intellectual property, contracts and human resources.

    Prior to joining Freddie Mac, John spent 13 years at Citigroup Inc. in New York City, where he held senior leadership positions, and served as Senior Vice President and Senior Counsel at Salomon Smith Barney (full bio here).

    “I am thrilled to join the Upgrade team and put three decades of legal, compliance and regulatory experience to work to create innovative solutions designed to lower the cost of credit for consumers and help investors achieve attractive returns,” said John Dye.

    Upgrade also hired Louis Shansky, a partner on the securitization team at the law firm of Mayer Brown, as Deputy General Counsel.

    Upgrade closed its Series A round of financing in March 2017, raising $60 million in equity and convertible notes from investors including Apoletto, CreditEase, FirstMark Capital, Noah Holdings, Ribbit Capital, Sands Capital Ventures, Silicon Valley Bank, Union Square Ventures, Uprising and Vy Capital.

    Upgrade now has over 120 team members working out of its San Francisco, California headquarters, Phoenix, Arizona operations center and Montreal, Quebec, Canada development center.

    All loans originated through the Upgrade platform are issued by WebBank, Member FDIC. Upgrade acquires loans from WebBank, retains a representative portion of those loans on its balance sheet and offers whole loans for sale to institutional investors. Jefferies is advising the company on its capital markets strategy and participates in loan purchases to help establish the company’s securitization program.

    About Upgrade

    Upgrade is a new consumer credit platform that combines personal loans with credit monitoring, alerts and credit education tools that help consumers better understand and monitor their credit and unlock their credit potential. Upgrade is based in San Francisco, California, with an operations center in Phoenix, Arizona and a development center in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Upgrade does not facilitate loans to residents of Connecticut, Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Vermont and West Virginia. More information is available at: http://www.upgrade.com.

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