UPST culture

We all know a stellar management team and culture is absolutely critical for a growth company to stay consistent to its startup identity and provide constant momentum for its people to stay creative, in order to sustain its hypergrowth status.

I believe UPST continues to be exemplary of this.
Of course, the proof is always in the numbers each quarter, and I remain convinced UPST will outperform in its Q3 report.
Not from being married to the stock but from continued review of available ‘evidence’.

I know this was posted to the board a couple months back but I’ve found it worthwhile to read again: Article written by UPST’s CEO
And this is from 2019, but a good interview with the CEO about company values and culture…

Now, from, they have headlined the founding company mantras followed by quotes from employees:

“Every second counts”
No one waits around for projects to land in their laps. We have the autonomy to prioritize what we work on and take advantage of every second to improve things for our users. -Nive V | Senior Software Engineer

“Do the right thing even when it’s hard”
A lot of companies stumble because it’s easy to cut corners or do things that make your business look good in the short term. We don’t do that. -Shavaugn Lewis | Legal Counsel

“Make clever use of numbers”
Driven to understand ‘true risk,’ we are constantly collecting more data about credit and debts. But more than that, we are looking to understand the stories they tell, about the people behind these numbers. -Kevin Lin | Data Scientist

“Be smart and know you might be wrong”
I feel like I am getting a crash course in finance, technology, statistics, and operations all in one. In 6 weeks, we launched 4 separate experiments. Was I right about which one would perform best? Absolutely not. Did we get 30% lift in conversion? You bet we did. -Farouk Rice | Digital Acquisition Lead

“Don’t assume it can’t be done”
There’s an air in our culture of ‘let’s tackle this.’ You see something in the code and wonder - why on earth does it do that? Then you realize it’s a clever solution to a problem that our competitors probably weren’t even willing to touch. -Melissa Hargis | Full Stack Engineer

Glassdoor: As mentioned in previous posts. 98% approve of CEO (40 ratings). 4.1 stars from 104 reviews.

Recent cherry picked Glassdoor reviews providing insight that this multibillion dollar company staying true to its core startup values and sustaining that growth:

“I had the opportunity to join in the early days of the Columbus office and it has been a whirlwind ever since. We’ve grown a ton and even though there have been growing pains, I’m consistently impressed with the strength of our leadership team, our clear product vision and the caliber of the folks in each and every area of the company. There’s definitely a focus on employee care. We are expected to perform at a very high level and the speed at which we work can be stressful, but I also feel very well taken care of by the company. They continue adding new perks and benefits (literally just added a 401k match and financial planning service today), have a very thorough and consistent approach to compensation and take action on employee surveys and feedback. Tons of opportunity for growth. We’re scaling big time which means that strong performers have lots of runway to grow in their existing role or into roles that don’t even exist yet. Still very transparent. We continue to have our weekly all staff where we get to hear off the cuff updates from our founders and dive into whatever questions people have. They are very accessible outside of that as well- not a super hierarchical organization at all.” - Aug 20, 2021 Glassdoor review

"- Recent switch to Digital First is refreshing and shows founder flexibility

  • Recent IPO has unlocked life changing value for most engineers
  • Company looks destined to 4x in size near future" - July 26, 2021 Glassdoor review

And as we know from Q2 earnings call, said by the CEO:

"In June, we announced that Upstart is moving to a digital-first model, where most Upstarters can live and work anywhere in the U.S…The good news is Digital First has paid immediate dividends to our recruiting efforts. Though we announced this plan just a couple of months ago, over 1/3 of our job offers in the past few weeks have been to candidates outside our footprint. And we’ve seen an acceptance rate of 80% to these offers, a dramatic improvement over what we’ve seen historically. Digital First is not just a reaction to the last 1.5 years, it’s a sign that we intend to create one of the largest and most impactful fintechs in the world. We’re building a company that will be distributed not just physically, but logically, able to pursue multiple markets and business opportunities at the same time. We need extraordinary talent and the leadership to do this right. Digital First will enable us to find that talent wherever it may be. Digital First may help us recruit talent wherever it resides, but it’s our culture and mission that will keep it here. We aim to be the go-to employer for those driven to build the most modern of technologies, artificial intelligence to solve one of the most intractable problems, financial inclusion. To do this, Upstart must be widely recognized as a destination company for those destined to have real impact on the world while experiencing unparalleled career growth.

Also to note from their careers page, “All Upstarters are still welcome to work from one of our offices in San Mateo, CA, Columbus, OH, or Austin, TX. Looks like Austin is now their defacto 3rd ‘headquarter’ powering the launch in auto.

Finally, to close:

Google trends search popularity for “upstart login” has surged past “creditkarma login” since Q2:…

Another perspective of the massive growth in “upstart login” search popularity vs “creditkarma login” from 2018 to today:…

Of course, the other search term “credit karma login” (with a space between the word) is still far more dominant, but this little piece of data, i think, is pointing to another very impactful and positive update to UPST’s marketing models since end of Q2.