NextCard Inc., which markets a credit card on the Internet and offers 30-second approval, has raised $38 million in a new round of private equity financing.

Since its 1996 founding the San Francisco company has raised $55 million from investors including Moore Capital Management, Sequoia Capital, and Highland Capital Partners.

The new money would be used to capitalize a planned startup bank, whose approval is expected within six months, as well as for product development and marketing.

NextCard's Internet-based application process renders credit decisions using data bases of information from national credit bureaus.

Heritage Bank of Commerce in San Jose, Calif., issues the cards.

Russ Siegelman, a partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, said NextCard has "tremendous momentum, a real first-mover advantage."

The company attracts customers with an account balance transfer program that promises introductory rates as low as 2.9% a year.

"We are able to identify the most profitable accounts elsewhere, have customers transfer those profitable accounts to us, and then pass some of those profits back to the customer," said Jeremy Lent, co-founder of NextCard.

NextCard has processed 500,000 card applications in 1998. Heritage's NextCard portfolio is growing about $15 million a month, the marketing company said.

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