SAN FRANCISCO - March 5, 2020

Bridge Bank today announced it has extended a senior loan to Aura, a mission-driven financial technology company that offers affordable loans to hard-working families. The financing will be used to support the company’s rapid expansion as it provides affordable financial service products to underserved communities.

This new loan comes during a period of rapid growth for Aura in which the company has provided approximately $750MM in loans to nearly 344,000 borrowers at 1,050 partner locations since 2014. Aura uses technology that goes beyond credit scores to determine borrowers’ ability to repay and enables local businesses to administer credit applications.

“We are excited to work with Aura due to their stellar management and mission-driven approach of providing financial solutions to consumers that may be ignored elsewhere,” said Mike Lederman, senior managing director of Bridge Bank’s technology banking group. “Aura has experienced tremendous growth in recent years and our Bridge Bank team looks forward to supporting Aura in their continued development and success.”

“We are thrilled to be working with Bridge Bank, one of the premier sources of capital for fast-growing startups,” said James Gutierrez, co-founder and chief executive officer of Aura. “This new financing will help us keep pace with growth and empower more hard-working families with our credit-building loans.”

Millions of working families in America lack access to safe and affordable loans and are vulnerable to predatory lenders. According to Aura, they have provided borrowers with affordable loans that have saved over $475MM in additional fees and interest as compared with predatory options. Two-thirds of Aura’s borrowers have grown their credit score by an average of 312 points after two loans.

Loans by Aura are made possible by its innovative social bonds program, which enables banks and other financial institutions to invest in loans to low-income individuals, while generating compelling returns. In total, Aura has raised over $526MM in social bonds and $230MM in financing to fund its loans.

About Bridge Bank

Bridge Bank’s Life Sciences Group understands the unique challenges and opportunities companies face in bringing their products from lab to market. Whether biotechnology, medical device or pharma, companies benefit from experienced, knowledgeable lenders – along with sophisticated products and services – to help their enterprises succeed. The team provides term and revolving credit facilities to life sciences companies for a variety of purposes, including growth capital, working capital, refinancing, restructuring, recapitalization, as well as mergers and acquisitions. Bridge Bank is a division of Western Alliance Bank, Member FDIC, the primary subsidiary of Phoenix-based Western Alliance Bancorporation, one of the country’s top-performing banking companies. Western Alliance is ranked #1 regional bank by S&P Global Market Intelligence for 2018 and in the top 10 on the Forbes “Best Banks in America” list for four consecutive years, 2016-2019. A national presence with a regional footprint, Western Alliance Bank operates individually branded, full-service banking divisions and has offices in key markets nationwide. For more information, visit


Aura is a technology-powered, Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that provides small, affordable loans to working families in America. Aura’s mission is to build financially healthy low-income communities by providing empowering financial services to America’s 66-million underbanked and unbanked. Aura has pioneered a cloud-based lending technology that enables trusted local businesses to submit credit applications for centralized review and approval by its proprietary scoring algorithms.

Currently available in nearly 1,050 locations across California, Texas, Illinois and Arizona, Aura has provided hundreds of thousands of credit-building, responsible loans to low-income households since launching in 2014. Aura was founded in 2012 by James Gutierrez, Kevin Kang, and Randy Wong. All three founders helped create and scale Oportun, a CDFI and one of Time Magazine’s Top 50 Most Genius Companies in 2018. For more information visit

About Us

Bridge Bank, a division of Western Alliance Bank, Member FDIC, helps business clients realize their ambitions. Founded in 2001 in Silicon Valley, Bridge Bank offers a better way to bank for small-market and middle-market businesses across many industries, as well as emerging technology companies and the private equity community. Geared to serving both venture-backed and non-venture-backed companies, Bridge Bank delivers a broad scope of financial solutions including capital, equipment and working capital credit facilities, venture debt, treasury management, asset-based lending, SBA and commercial real estate loans, ESOP finance and a full line of international products and services. Based in San Jose, Bridge Bank has 16 offices in major markets across the country along with Western Alliance Bank’s powerful array of specialized financial services. Western Alliance Bank is the primary subsidiary of Phoenix-based Western Alliance Bancorporation. One of the country’s top-performing banking companies, Western Alliance has ranked in the top 10 on the Forbes “Best Banks in America” list for five consecutive years, 2016-2020, and was named #1 best-performing of the 50 largest public U.S. banks for 2019 by S&P Global Market Intelligence.