So in 2013 he founded Earnest, an online lender of low-cost personal loans to financially sound applicants.
San Francisco-based Earnest has launched in 19 states and closed $15 million in financing from Andreessen Horowitz, Atlas Venture, Collaborative Fund, First Round Capital and Maveron, as well as more than 15 angel investors.
Earnest has loaned approximately $2 million to young people who need cash for moving costs, weddings, home repairs, vacations, furniture and the like.
The company’s underwriting software pulls data from the applicants‘ LinkedIn profile and financial accounts, evaluating education, work history, salary, savings, cash flow and earning potential, and Earnest staffers review each prospective client by phone.
Earnest recently began offering larger loans, longer repayment periods and both lower and higher interest rate loans “In order to serve more people,” according to Beryl.
The Earnest founders felt it was essential to partner with VCs that supported their commitment to customer value and weren’t just looking for a quick exit.
Like all the company’s investors and advisors, Bill Trenchard, partner at First Round Capital, which contributed an undisclosed amount, was onboard with Earnest’s mission.