Petal: Equal Opportunities of Credit for Everyone
Credit cards were one of the biggest revolutions in the financial world. People could finally leave their checkbooks at home and just pack the small plastic card in their wallets.
However, as time passed, credit cards accumulated credit debt. Over half the population in the US has credit card debt, making acquiring a new credit card a very challenging process.
A few finance experts sought a way of making credit more accessible by focusing on cash flow instead of credit scores. Andrew Endicott, David Enrich, Jason Gross, and Jack Arenas reimagined how credit score was perceived.
By launching Petal, they expanded access to credit cards for everybody. The consideration is based on spending habits, savings history, and recorded income. Petal aims at accessible credit by inspiring members to avoid debt, spend responsibly, and build future credit.
Continue reading the story about how these experts launched a credit card company that became one of the top choices today!
Following Their Dreams
Andrew Endicott was born in Fayetteville, Arkansas, in the early 90s. Growing up in such a variable state turned Andrew to his books. One of Andrew’s greatest aspirations was to flourish in the business world and make a name for himself.
Being good with numbers and having a very calculative character got Andrew interested in accounting and finances. This is why in 2004, Andrew enrolled at the University of Arkansas to study for a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance.
After getting a BA in accounting, Andrew continued his education at Harvard University in 2009. There he studied for a law degree and would meet his future co-founder and coworker Jason Gross.
Jason Gross was born in Florida, US, in the late 1980s. Growing up, Jason had aspirations of helping people. He had a benevolent character and impressive memory skills. These made him excel in school, finishing top of his grade.
While studying, Jason was interested in entrepreneurial activities, but his father encouraged him to study law because he owned a law firm. Thus, Jason enrolled at the University of Florida to get a law degree. He later on enrolled at Harvard, where he met Andrew.
Jason and Andrew finished Harvard in the same class of 2012, and each got a respectable job afterward. Jason started working as a lawyer, while Andrew got a job at Capital Markets and Lazard.
The Two Missing Pieces
David Ehrich was born in the late 1980s in the heart of the states, Ithaca, New York. Growing up in one of the most booming cities in the world and a creative household gave David an artistic side.
Although his mother was a designer and his sister a performance actor, David was more drawn to business roles. He enrolled at Cornell University to study Biochemistry in the early 2000s. David continued his studies at The Tuck School of Business, where he got a Master’s degree in Business Administration.
Jack Arenas was also born in New York but in Brooklyn in the early 90s. Even in childhood, Jack showed many talents across various fields. He was good with numbers, so his parents had a feeling that he might want to work with finances in the future. Jack was particularly interested in Economics and how they range in the US.
He was also very keen on technology and interested in science. All of this, coupled with his exemplary mathematics skills, pushed him toward the University of California in Berkeley. There he tried for a BA in Economics and later got a Bachelor in Computer Science as well.
He later moved back to New York. There he built his resume with top job posts as a software engineer at Amazon and an analyst at Goldman Sachs.
Three of the co-founders were working and prospering in New York. Although David Enrich spent years abroad, he managed to score jobs at some of the US's biggest financial providers. He worked in American Express, serving moderate to low-income consumers. While working for JPMC, David discovered that the US financial system needed some improvement.
While David switched advisory jobs, Jason and Andrew met Jack at a mutual friend’s party. He was recounting a story of how his foreign friend had a hard time getting approved for a credit card. This inspired Jason because he’d witnessed firsthand how unfairly his country and the credit system treated people.
Because of this, along with Andrew, Jason decided to revolutionize the tech industry. So, in 2016, Jason, Andrew, and Jack founded Petal, a credit card company with a new approach to credit.
Petaling With the Greatest
The team of financial and business-minded individuals launched Petal in New York in 2016. The board consisted of Jason Gross as the CEO and Andrew and Jack as cofounders. The trio was later joined by American Express's former employee David Enrich who brought extensive experience to the team.
With Petal, everyone gets an equal opportunity to build credit. The company gives credit cards to whoever applies for them according to their credit record rather than score. The aim is to innovate the way banks treat their consumers and inspire them to build better credit, avoid debt and spend carefully.
The beginning was naturally hard, considering their idea was something new and the fact that they had to face the most significant financial players - the banks.
But, according to the co-founders, Petal wasn’t created to be a competitor to other bank giants but to solve the real problem. By creating the right products, they socialized the issue and made many stakeholders, public policymakers, and investors aware of it.
Removing an outdated approach to credit scoring, Petal introduced accessing new data with the help of technology. One year after its launch, Petal started distributing its own credit cards issued by WebBank, Member FDIC, etc.
Over the years, Petal has raised a total of $704 million over 13 funding rounds with around 50 investors. Revolutionary ideas are truly appreciated, which was evident in January and October 2018. Petal scored $17 million from Valar Ventures and $34 million from Jefferies in 2018 alone.
The success rounds did not stop there as Petal hit another huge milestone in 2019. This time, scoring $30 million and $300 million from Valar and Jefferies, respectively.
The Covid pandemic brought about more need for credit than ever, so investments in 2020 and 2021 jumped excessively. Petal got $55 million in 2020, while in 2021, the credit company gained $126.6 million from Trinity Capital and Silicon Valley Bank. Petal’s last two investments were in 2022, when the company raised $140 million from Tarsadia Investments and another $1,2 million from unknown investors.
What Does the Future Hold?
Petal’s headquarters are still in New York, and the company has up to 250 employees. Petal plans to spread offices nationwide and internationally.
Its goal to focus on the credibility of the consumer rather than the outdated credit score gave many individuals access to credit. The company succeeded in raising awareness, especially among US youth, to spend responsibly, avoid debt and improve credit.
Jason, Andrew, Jack, and Daniel learned that being open to modern advice and adapting outdated principles to the digital era can solve a real problem. By granting everyone an equal opportunity to build credit, they garnered more attention than any other bank.
Judging individuals by their habits rather than given scores made them the most sought-after credit company for minorities, foreigners, and youngsters in the US!