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Sunbit Credit Card Grows to 100K Users

Los Angeles Business Journal

Sunbit, a financing and payment platform, is the No. 5 firm on the Business Journal’s Fastest Growing Companies list. The Westwood-based company posted $130 million in revenue last year and experienced a 442% growth rate from 2020 to 2022.

Sunbit was founded in 2016 and offers financial technology payment tools, including its no-fee credit card that competes with “buy now, pay later” services like Klarna and Sezzle. The company said the Sunbit Credit Card has more than 100,000 users. Sunbit also has a point-of-sale lending option at over 20,000 service locations, including bridal stores, auto parts and service centers and retail stores.

Arad Levertov, chief executive and co-founder of Sunbit, said that its point-of-sale tool is the “technology of choice” in 40% of auto dealerships nationwide and adds more than 600 dental practices to its portfolio each month.

One of Sunbit’s core values as a company in a high growth phase is to “innovate for good.” To Levertov, this means finding ways to treat its customers and team more fairly, and “make better use” of their time, money and talent.

Why has your company grown so quickly?

Many people might not know that before Sunbit, access to fair, transparent, inclusive and personalized financing at the point of sale simply didn’t exist. While today we have already served millions of customers through billions of dollars of transactions, success wasn’t always assured. When I think back to 2016, I can’t think of a single other company that was trying to entirely revamp the way people access, use and benefit from credit in their most critical moments — this had simply never been done before. 

Today, we meet people where they are and give them access to fair, transparent financing — often for the first time — approving virtually every applicant within 30 seconds. We never charge fees of any kind and every customer gets the best possible terms, better than what is already in their wallets. As a result, we have made millions of customers for life. 

I like to say we never focused on the sexiest markets or the biggest brands. We never linked our worth to our valuation or popular sentiment. But these decisions have never hurt us; in fact, we are outperforming many companies who chose those paths. 

What are specific challenges that have come from your fast growth? Recruiting enough skilled people? The drive to expand supply chains? Acquiring enough space for your expanding needs? 

After you find a ‘product market fit’ and start growing rapidly, there are many challenges.

I believe the biggest is making sure that success does not cloud your perspective or allow you to become blinded by the numbers. In reality, growth means working harder, with more dedication and clarity, and a full commitment to the mission and values that brought you to this point. 

Other challenges include ensuring the unit economics are sufficient. Without a good unit economics or (positive) lifetime value to customer acquisition ratio, growth could lead to a downward spiral, which in turn can hurt the company’s future. Leaders must ensure the unit economics are healthy. For Sunbit specifically this is why we balance hypergrowth with more efficiency improvements. We do this by investing in the right technology, automating processes and cutting costs all while maintaining a great user experience for customers. 

Another challenge is to remain focused. Growth generates external interest – from potential partners, investors and more. And, there are many verticals that can potentially benefit from a solution, especially as market success accelerates. But you must say no – many times more than yes. At Sunbit we have always wanted to bring the very best to our customers and merchants. We have prioritized focus and excellence, which in turn helps us to grow, versus scattering our attention. 

Obviously there are other challenges, but I cannot overemphasize how our focus on customers’ experiences, needs and satisfaction drive Sunbit’s success. We want to do better and we bring our full attention to our goals, this helps us to creatively overcome any challenge we face.

What’s the most important piece of advice you’d offer to another leader whose company is experiencing fast growth?

Remember that no one can succeed alone. 

Start by examining your relationships. Pause and think about how you treated your first customer, your first employee, your first partner. If, years later, you are still leading with the gratitude, humility and generosity you offered to the people who believed in you before anyone else, you are on the right track. If you aren’t treating your current relationships with the same level of care, recommit to the reason you started your business in the first place. 

When you are clear-eyed about the value you offer and the people you serve, it is easier to have a clear vision of what needs to happen to continue leading. 

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