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Upstart Announces Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2021 Results

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SAN MATEO, Calif., February 15, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Upstart Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: UPST), a leading artificial intelligence (AI) lending platform, today announced financial results for its fourth quarter and full fiscal year 2021 ended December 31, 2021. Upstart will host a conference call and webcast at 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time today. An earnings presentation and link to the webcast are available at ir.upstart.com. Separately, on February 14, 2022, the board of directors authorized Upstart to repurchase $400 million of its common stock.

"With triple-digit growth and record profits, Q4 was an exceptional finish to a breakout year for Upstart. 2021 will be remembered as the year AI lending came to the forefront, kicking off the most impactful transformation of credit in decades," said Dave Girouard co-founder and CEO of Upstart. "But AI lending isn’t a one-category phenomenon. I’m also happy to report that, with help from an epic push by our team in the last few weeks of the year, auto loan originations on our platform are now ramping quickly and will provide growth opportunities to Upstart for years to come."

Fourth Quarter 2021 Financial Highlights

  • Revenue. Total revenue was $305 million, an increase of 252% from the fourth quarter of 2020. Total fee revenue was $287 million, an increase of 240% year-over-year.

  • Transaction Volume and Conversion Rate. Bank partners originated 495,205 loans, totaling $4.1 billion, across our platform in the fourth quarter, up 301% from the same quarter of the prior year. Conversion on rate requests was 24% in the fourth quarter of 2021, up from 17% in the same quarter of the prior year.

  • Income from Operations. Income from operations was $60.4 million, up from $10.4 million the prior year.

  • Net Income and EPS. GAAP net income was $58.9 million, up from $1.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2020. Adjusted net income was $87.0 million, up from $5.4 million in the same quarter of the prior year. Accordingly, GAAP diluted earnings per share was $0.61, and diluted adjusted earnings per share was $0.89 based on the weighted-average common shares outstanding during the period.

  • Contribution Profit. Contribution profit was $149.5 million, up 261% from in the fourth quarter of 2020, with a contribution margin of 52% compared to a 49% contribution margin in the same quarter of the prior year.

  • Adjusted EBITDA. Adjusted EBITDA was $91.0 million, up from $15.5 million in the same quarter of the prior year. The fourth quarter 2021 adjusted EBITDA margin was 30% of total revenue, up from 18% in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Full Year 2021 Financial Highlights

  • Revenue. Total revenue was $849 million, an increase of 264% from 2020. Total fee revenue was $801 million, an increase of 251% year-over-year.

  • Transaction Volume and Conversion Rate. Bank partners originated 1.3 million loans, totaling $11.8 billion, across our platform in 2021, up 338% from the prior year. Conversion on rate requests was 24% 2021, up from 15% in the prior year.

  • Income from Operations. Income from operations was $141 million, up from $11.8 million the prior year.

  • Net Income and EPS. GAAP net income was $135 million, up from $6.0 million in 2020. Adjusted net income was $224 million, up from $17.5 million in the prior year. Accordingly, GAAP diluted earnings per share was $1.43, and diluted adjusted earnings per share was $2.37 based on the weighted-average common shares outstanding during the period.

  • Contribution Profit. Contribution profit was $398 million, up 279% from 2020, with a contribution margin of 50% compared to a 46% contribution margin in the prior year.

  • Adjusted EBITDA. Adjusted EBITDA was $232 million, up from $31.5 million in the prior year. Full year 2021 adjusted EBITDA margin was 27% of total revenue, up from 13% in 2020.

Financial Outlook

For the first quarter of 2022, Upstart expects:

  • Revenue of $295 to $305 million

  • Contribution Margin of approximately 46%

  • Net Income of $18 to $22 million

  • Adjusted Net Income of $50 to $52 million

  • Adjusted EBITDA of $56 to $58 million

  • Basic Weighted-Average Share Count of approximately 84.3 million shares

  • Diluted Weighted-Average Share Count of approximately 95.9 million shares

For the full year 2022, Upstart expects:

  • Revenue of approximately $1.4 billion

  • Contribution Margin of approximately 45%

  • Adjusted EBITDA of approximately 17%

  • Auto Transaction Volume of approximately $1.5 billion

Upstart has not reconciled the forward-looking non-GAAP measures above to comparable forward-looking GAAP measures because of the potential variability and uncertainty of incurring these costs and expenses in the future. Accordingly, a reconciliation is not available without unreasonable effort.

Key Operating Metrics and Non-GAAP Financial Measures

For a description of our key operating measures, please see the section titled "Key Operating Metrics" below.

Reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable financial results as determined in accordance with GAAP are included at the end of this press release following the accompanying financial data. For a description of these non-GAAP financial measures, including the reasons management uses each measure, please see the section titled "About Non-GAAP Financial Measures" below.

Conference Call and Webcast

  • Live Conference Call and Webcast at 1:30 p.m. PT on February 15, 2022. To access the call in the U.S. and Canada, dial, +1 877-614-0009, conference code 3385320, and outside of the U.S. and Canada, dial +1 313-209-7315, conference code 3385320. A webcast is available at ir.upstart.com.

  • Event Replay. To replay the call in the U.S. and Canada, dial +1 888-203-1112 (code 3385320), and outside of the U.S. and Canada, dial +1 719-457-0820 (code 3385320). A call replay is available through February 22, 2022. The webcast will be archived for one year at ir.upstart.com.

About Upstart

Upstart is a leading AI lending platform partnering with banks and credit unions to expand access to affordable credit. By leveraging Upstart’s AI platform, Upstart-powered banks and credit unions can have higher approval rates and lower loss rates for every race, ethnicity, age, and gender, while simultaneously delivering the exceptional digital-first lending experience their customers demand. More than two-thirds of Upstart loans are approved instantly and are fully automated. Upstart was founded by ex-Googlers in 2012 and is based in San Mateo, California and Columbus, Ohio.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including but not limited to, statements regarding our outlook for the first quarter and full year of 2022 and regarding auto loan originations providing growth opportunities. You can identify forward-looking statements by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. These statements may include words such as "anticipate", "estimate", "expect", "project", "plan", "intend", "target", "aim", "believe", "may", "will", "should", "becoming", "could", "can have", "likely" and other words and terms of similar meaning in connection with any discussion of the timing or nature of future operating or financial performance or other events. Forward-looking statements give our current expectations and projections relating to our financial condition; plans; objectives; growth opportunities; assumptions; risks; future performance; business; our share repurchase program and any other investments; and results of operations, including revenue, contribution margin, net income (loss), non-GAAP adjusted net income, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA margin, basic weighted-average share count and diluted weighted-average share count. Neither we nor any other person assumes responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of any of these forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements included in this press release and on the related teleconference call relate only to events as of the date hereof. Upstart undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as otherwise required by law.

All forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those that we expected. More information about factors that could affect our results of operations and risks and uncertainties are provided in our public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, copies of which may be obtained by visiting our investor relations website at www.upstart.com or the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, our ability to sustain our growth rates; the effectiveness of our credit decisioning models and risk management efforts; overall economic conditions; disruptions in the credit markets; our ability to retain existing, and attract new, bank partners and lenders; and our ability to operate successfully in a highly-regulated industry.

Key Operating Metrics

We review a number of operating metrics, including transaction volume, dollars; transaction volume, number of loans; and conversion rate; to evaluate our business, measure our performance, identify trends affecting our business, formulate business plans, and make strategic decisions.

We define "transaction volume, dollars" as the total principal of loans transacted on our platform between a borrower and the originating bank during the period presented. We define "transaction volume, number of loans" as the number of loans facilitated on our platform between a borrower and the originating bank during the period presented. We believe these metrics are good proxies for our overall scale and reach as a platform.

We define "conversion rate" as the number of loans transacted in a period divided by the number of rate inquiries received that we estimate to be legitimate, which we record when a borrower requests a loan offer on our platform. We track this metric to understand the impact of improvements to the efficiency of our borrower funnel on our overall growth. Until June 30, 2021, Conversion Rate considered all rate inquiries received on our platform. In the third quarter of 2021, we experienced a large and coordinated fraud attack. While the attack had no significant impact on our financial results, our borrower funnel conversion metrics were distorted by the volume of unsuccessful attempts to access loans. As a result, we modified our calculation of Conversion Rate to remove what we believe to be fraudulent loan requests from the total number of rate inquiries received to better reflect actual borrower behavior.

About Non-GAAP Financial Measures

In addition to our results determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States ("GAAP"), we believe the non-GAAP measures of contribution profit (loss), contribution margin, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA margin, adjusted net income or loss, and adjusted net income or loss per share are useful in evaluating our operating performance. Certain of these non-GAAP measures exclude stock-based compensation and certain payroll tax expense, warrant expenses, depreciation, amortization, and other non-operating expenses. We exclude stock-based compensation and income and expense on warrants and other non-operating expenses because they are non-cash in nature and excluded in order to facilitate comparisons to other companies’ results.

We believe non-GAAP information is useful in evaluating the operating results, ongoing operations, and for internal planning and forecasting purposes. We also believe that non-GAAP financial measures provide consistency and comparability with past financial performance and assist investors with comparing Upstart to other companies, some of which use similar non-GAAP financial measures to supplement their GAAP results. Non-GAAP financial measures are presented for supplemental informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for financial information presented in accordance with GAAP and may be different from similarly titled non-GAAP financial measures used by other companies.

Key limitations of our non-GAAP financial measures include:

  • Contribution Profit is not a GAAP financial measure of, nor does it imply, profitability. Even if our revenue exceeds variable expenses over time, we may not be able to achieve or maintain profitability, and the relationship of revenue to variable expenses is not necessarily indicative of future performance;

  • Contribution Profit does not reflect all of our variable expenses and involves some judgment and discretion around what costs vary directly with loan volume. Other companies that present contribution profit calculate it differently and, therefore, similarly titled measures presented by other companies may not be directly comparable to ours;

  • Although depreciation expense is a non-cash charge, the assets being depreciated may have to be replaced in the future, and Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect cash capital expenditure requirements for such replacements or for new capital expenditure requirements;

  • Adjusted EBITDA excludes stock-based compensation expense and certain employer payroll taxes on employee stock transactions. Stock-based compensation expense has been, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future, a significant recurring expense for our business and an important part of our compensation strategy. The amount of employer payroll tax-related expense on employee stock transactions is dependent on our stock price and other factors that are beyond our control and which not correlate to the operation of the business;

  • Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect: (1) changes in, or cash requirements for, our working capital needs; (2) interest expense, or the cash requirements necessary to service interest or principal payments on our debt, which reduces cash available to us; or (3) tax payments that may represent a reduction in cash available to us;

  • The expenses and other items that we exclude in our calculation of Adjusted EBITDA may differ from the expenses and other items, if any, that other companies may exclude from Adjusted EBITDA when they report their operating results.

Reconciliation tables of the most comparable GAAP financial measures to the non-GAAP financial measures used in this press release are included below.

UPSTART HOLDINGS, INC.

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(In Thousands, Except Share and Per Share Data)

(Unaudited)

December 31,

December 31,

2020

2021

Assets

Cash

$ 250,819

$ 986,608

Restricted cash

60,514

204,633

Loans (at fair value)

78,460

252,477

Notes receivable and residual certificates (at fair value)

19,074

8,288

Property, equipment, and software, net

10,032

24,259

Operating lease right of use assets

18,310

96,118

Non-marketable equity security

-

40,000

Goodwill

-

67,062

Intangible assets, net

-

19,906

Other assets (includes $6,831 and $18,388 at fair value as of December 31, 2020 and 2021, respectively)

40,046

121,104

Total assets

$ 477,255

$ 1,820,455

Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity

Liabilities:

Accounts payable

$ 13,775

$ 6,563

Payable to investors

45,501

107,598

Borrowings

62,626

695,432

Accrued expenses and other liabilities (includes $9,530 and $13,095 at fair value as of December 31, 2020 and 2021, respectively)

35,669

103,418

Operating lease liabilities

19,432

100,366

Total liabilities

177,003

1,013,377

Stockholders’ equity:

Common stock, $0.0001 par value; 700,000,000 shares authorized; 73,314,026 and 83,659,665, shares issued and outstanding as of December 31, 2020 and 2021, respectively

7

8

Additional paid-in capital

369,467

740,849

Retained earnings (accumulated deficit)

(69,222

)

66,221

Total stockholders’ equity

300,252

807,078

Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity

$ 477,255

$ 1,820,455

UPSTART HOLDINGS, INC.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS and COMPREHENSIVE INCOME

(In Thousands, Except Share and Per Share Data)

(Unaudited)

Three Months Ended
December 31,

Year Ended
December 31,

2020

2021

2020

2021

Revenue:

Revenue from fees, net

$

84,421

$

287,387

$

228,600

$

801,275

Interest income and fair value adjustments, net (a)

2,289

17,461

4,816

47,314

Total revenue

86,710

304,848

233,416

848,589

Operating expenses:

Sales and marketing

34,546

114,815

99,659

333,453

Customer operations

12,789

41,049

37,581

117,579

Engineering and product development

14,151

46,495

38,802

133,999

General, administrative, and other

14,831

42,075

45,609

122,677

Total operating expenses

76,317

244,434

221,651

707,708

Income from operations

10,393

60,414

11,765

140,881

Other income (expense)

52

22

5,549

(5,174)

Expense on warrants and convertible notes, net

(9,047)

(1,169)

(11,364)

(1,976)

Net income before income taxes

1,398

59,267

5,950

133,731

Provision (benefit) for income taxes

371

323

371

(1,712)

Net income before attribution to noncontrolling interests

1,027

58,944

5,579

135,443

Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests

-

-

(404)

-

Net income attributable to Upstart Holdings, Inc. common stockholders

$

1,027

$

58,944

$

5,983

$

135,443

Net income per share attributable to Upstart Holdings, Inc. common stockholders, basic

$

-

$

0.71

$

-

$

1.73

Net income per share attributable to Upstart Holdings, Inc. common stockholders, diluted

$

-

$

0.61

$

-

$

1.43

Weighted-average number of shares outstanding used in computing net income per share attributable to Upstart Holdings, Inc. common stockholders, basic

26,001,856

82,616,735

17,513,670

78,106,359

Weighted-average number of shares outstanding used in computing net income per share attributable to Upstart Holdings, Inc. common stockholders, diluted

26,001,856

98,804,259

17,513,670

94,772,641

____________

(a) Includes $1,014 from related parties expense and $4,238 of related parties fair value adjustments for the year ended December 31, 2020.

UPSTART HOLDINGS, INC.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

(In Thousands)

(Unaudited)

Year Ended
December 31,

2020

2021

Cash flows from operating activities

Net income before attribution to noncontrolling interests

$ 5,579

$ 135,443

Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:

Change in fair value of financial instruments (a)

29,049

(228

)

Stock-based compensation

11,513

73,186

Gain on loan servicing arrangements and sale of noncontrolling interests, net

(1,530

)

(6,916

)

Depreciation and amortization

2,278

7,541

Incentive share expense

787

-

Non-cash interest expense

73

1,983

Net changes in operating assets and liabilities:

Purchase of loans for immediate resale

(2,540,948

)

(8,713,476

)

Proceeds from immediate resale of loans

2,540,948

8,713,476

Purchase of loans held-for-sale

(116,127

)

(219,128

)

Principal payments received for loans held-for-sale

18,218

8,659

Net proceeds from sale of loans held-for-sale

47,604

112,569

Other assets

(13,186

)

(62,042

)

Operating lease liability and right-of-use asset

251

3,126

Accounts payable

7,033

(7,513

)

Payable to investors

19,446

62,097

Accrued expenses and other liabilities

4,709

59,576

Net cash provided by operating activities

15,697

168,353

Cash flows from investing activities

Principal payments received for loans held by consolidated securitizations

24,018

-

Net proceeds from sale of loans held-for-investment

97,340

51,403

Principal payments received for loans held-for-investment

15,758

24,532

Principal payments received for notes receivable and repayments of residual certificates

14,665

11,458

Purchase of loans held-for-investment

(9,655

)

(159,398

)

Purchase of non-marketable equity security

-

(40,000

)

Purchase of notes receivable and residual certificates

(4

)

-

Purchase of property and equipment

(1,355

)

(8,427

)

Capitalized software costs

(4,250

)

(6,688

)

Acquisition, net of cash acquired

-

(16,757

)

Net cash (used in) provided by investing activities

136,517

(143,877

)

Cash flows from financing activities

Proceeds from initial public offering, net of underwriting discounts and offering costs

159,488

-

Proceeds from secondary offering, net of underwriting discounts, commissions, and offering costs

-

263,931

Proceeds from borrowings

92,057

718,422

Payment of debt issuance costs

-

(15,727

)

Purchase of capped calls

-

(58,523

)

Taxes paid related to net share settlement of equity awards

-

(236

)

Payments made on securitization notes and certificates (b)

(26,126

)

-

Repayments of borrowings

(148,113

)

(71,316

)

Distributions made to noncontrolling interests

(622

)

-

Proceeds from exercise of convertible preferred stock warrants

6

-

Proceeds from issuance of common stock under employee stock purchase plan

-

4,145

Proceeds from exercise of stock options

2,362

14,736

Net cash provided by financing activities

79,052

855,432

Net increase in cash and restricted cash

231,266

879,908

Cash and restricted cash at beginning of year

80,067

311,333

Cash and restricted cash at end of year

$ 311,333

$ 1,191,241

____________

(a) Includes $(4,238) from related parties for the years ended December 31, 2020.

(b) Includes $1,034 paid to related parties for the years ended December 31, 2020.

​​

UPSTART HOLDINGS, INC.

RECONCILIATION OF GAAP TO NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES

(In Thousands, Except Share and Per Share Data)

(Unaudited)

Three Months Ended
December 31,

Year Ended
December 31,

2020

2021

2020

2021

Revenue from fees, net

$ 84,421

$ 287,387

$ 228,600

$ 801,275

Income from operations

10,393

60,414

11,765

140,881

Operating Margin

12

%

21

%

5

%

18

%

Sales and marketing, net of borrower acquisition costs(1)

$ 2,308

$ 11,364

$ 7,959

$ 25,840

Customer operations, net of borrower verification and servicing costs(2)

1,996

6,596

5,769

21,797

Engineering and product development

14,151

46,495

38,802

133,999

General, administrative, and other

14,831

42,075

45,609

122,677

Interest income and fair value adjustments, net

(2,289

)

(17,461

)

(4,816

)

(47,314

)

Contribution Profit

$ 41,390

$ 149,483

$ 105,088

$ 397,880

Contribution Margin

49

%

52

%

46

%

50

%

(1)

Borrower acquisition costs were $32.2 million and $103.5 million for the three months ended December 31, 2020 and 2021, respectively, and were $91.7 million and $307.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 and 2021, respectively. Borrower acquisition costs consist of our sales and marketing expenses adjusted to exclude costs not directly attributable to attracting a new borrower, such as payroll-related expenses for our business development and marketing teams, as well as other operational, brand awareness and marketing activities.

(2)

Borrower verification and servicing costs were $10.8 million and $34.5 million for the three months ended December 31, 2020 and 2021, respectively, and were $31.8 million and $95.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 and 2021, respectively. Borrower verification and servicing costs consist of payroll and other personnel-related expenses for personnel engaged in loan onboarding, verification and servicing, as well as servicing system costs. It excludes payroll and personnel-related expenses and stock-based compensation for certain members of our customer operations team whose work is not directly attributable to onboarding and servicing loans.

UPSTART HOLDINGS, INC.

RECONCILIATION OF GAAP TO NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES

(In Thousands, Except Share and Per Share Data)

(Unaudited)

Three Months Ended
December 31,

Year Ended
December 31,

2020

2021

2020

2021

Total revenue

$ 86,710

$ 304,848

$ 233,416

$ 848,589

Net income attributable to Upstart Holdings, Inc. common stockholders

1,027

58,944

5,983

135,443

Net Income Margin

1

%

19

%

3

%

16

%

Adjusted to exclude the following:

Stock-based compensation and certain payroll tax expenses(1)

$ 4,411

$ 28,013

$ 11,513

$ 87,461

Depreciation and amortization

647

2,557

2,278

7,541

Expense on warrants and convertible notes, net(2)

9,047

1,169

11,364

1,976

Provision for income taxes

371

323

371

(1,712

)

Acquisition-related costs

-

-

-

1,237

Adjusted EBITDA

$ 15,503

$ 91,006

$ 31,509

$ 231,946

Adjusted EBITDA Margin

18

%

30

%

13

%

27

%

(1)

In 2021, we began excluding the amount of employer payroll tax-related expense on employee stock transactions, as the amount is dependent on our stock price and other factors that are beyond our control and do not correlate to the operation of our business.

(2)

Consists of fair value adjustments to our warrant liability for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2020 interest expense for all years presented.

UPSTART HOLDINGS, INC.

RECONCILIATION OF GAAP TO NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES

(In Thousands, Except Share and Per Share Data)

(Unaudited)

Three Months Ended
December 31,

Year Ended
December 31,

2020

2021

2020

2021

Net income attributable to Upstart Holdings, Inc. common stockholders

$

1,027

$

58,944

$

5,983

$

135,443

Adjusted to exclude the following:

Stock-based compensation and certain payroll tax expenses(1)

4,411

28,013

11,513

87,461

Acquisition-related costs

-

-

-

1,237

Adjusted Net Income

$

5,438

$

86,957

$

17,496

$

224,141

Net income per share:

Basic

$

-

$

0.71

$

-

$

1.73

Diluted

$

-

$

0.61

$

-

$

1.43

Adjusted Net Income per Share:

Basic

$

0.21

$

1.05

$

1.00

$

2.87

Diluted

$

0.07

$

0.89

$

0.23

$

2.37

Weighted-average common shares outstanding:

Basic

26,001,856

82,616,735

17,513,670

78,106,359

Diluted

80,275,422

98,804,259

76,098,275

94,772,641

(1)

In 2021, we began excluding the amount of employer payroll tax-related expense on employee stock transactions, as the amount is dependent on our stock price and other factors that are beyond our control and do not correlate to the operation of our business.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220215006011/en/

Contacts

Press
press@upstart.com

Investors
Jason Schmidt
Vice President, Investor Relations
ir@upstart.com