Forbes recently published Lauren Gensler’s article “Why it’s No Surprise that Online Lender GreenSky Would Weigh an IPO’. The article discusses the financial technology company that is provides a service to both banks and merchants by becoming the technological middleman for home improvement loans.
However, the company focuses on remaining distinct from other technology companies. The CEO and co-founder David Zalik remains shy with the press, rarely accepting invitations to speak at conferences. He refused to raise external capital for nearly ten years. His opinion also contrasts with other companies in Silicon Valley that staying privately held for longer is better. GreenSky Credit recently filed for an IPO.
GreenSky Credit could raise more than $1 billion according to the Wall Street Times and it has been valued at nearly $5 billion. Zalik doesn’t want to go the same route as companies like Credit Karma, Stripe and Uber that all put off going public for as long as they could. They wanted to stay away from the pressure of investors and the demands of quarterly earnings.
However, GreenSky Credit could still determine that they do not want to go public and will not have an IPO. They filed their paperwork confidentially with the Securities and Exchange Commission. By doing so, Zalik has let the company prepare for going public, if that is what they end up doing, in private.
David Zalik co-founded GreenSky Credit in 2006. The company is based in Atlanta, Georgia but it has been expanding its network of call centers to places in Cincinnati and Kentucky. It has more than 900 employees and the CEO David Zalik was even named as the National EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Financial Services.
The company works by replacing credit cards for larger spending and consumer projects like home improvement. They have a fixed-interest rate and a fixed period in which the customer must pay back the loan. Zalik revealed that the company is not attempting to compete with banks, but rather to help them. By partnering with more than 14 national federally and state chartered banks, they are able to help the banks make more loans.