Misha Esipov, Nova Credit
Nova Credit was founded 5-years ago to help immigrants integrate into the U.S. economy by democratizing access to credit. Founder Misha Esipov discusses the growth story behind the company.
This interview was sponsored by Trinet and Anchin. For accounting, tax, and advisory services including R&D Tax Credits, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Per Misha, immigration today drives 50-60% of U.S. Population growth, and every year more people move to the United States than those turning 18 in the United States becoming eligible for financial services for the first time. Over 50 million immigrants in the United States have experienced a similar challenge when they first come to the U.S. and apply for an auto loan, apartment lease, financial loan, or a financial product that requires a credit history. U.S. credit bureaus typically don't recognize immigrants and credit history needs to be built from scratch. As a result, well-educated/high-potential immigrants that are here for the American dream of education, opportunity, or love, are effectively shut out with their financial identity left in their home country. Nova Credit seeks to solve this issue.
In our conversation, Misha walks us through the data problem Nova Credit is solving and how it is creating systemic change for immigrants to access a country's services, establishing the standards of data through a Credit Passport (R), and building partnerships with U.S. financial institutions and international credit agencies. In this conversation, Misha discusses the growth-at-all-costs mindset that is often prescribed by VCs and how it was the worst advice he was given from a venture capitalist. Misha discusses the anxiety rapid growth created for their team early on when the company was dealing with a marketplace that had highly regulated financial institutions on one side and slow-moving credit agencies on the other. On top of other advice shared in this session, Misha stresses to early founders to understand their business and understand that hockey sticks are not one size fits all.
Nova Credit raised a $50m Series B in early 2020 led by Ilya Fushman at Kleiner Perkins with participation from General Catalyst, Index Ventures, Canapi Ventures, Ashton Kutcher, and Alex Rodriguez.