GreenSky Credit continues to expand rapidly amid soaring business. The company now offers its loan products through more than 17,000 retailers across the country. And there have been rumors flying that the company may be looking to complete an IPO sometime in the near future. While some analysts have estimated the current value of the company to be around $5 billion, others have speculated that an IPO could ultimately see GreenSky end up with a market capitalization of more than $10 billion. And all this is the product of a company that was founded just 13 years ago.
A simple but brilliant idea
GreenSky was founded by David Zalik, a lifetime entrepreneur and former child prodigy who had been in business for himself since the age of 14. The idea for GreenSky came to Zalik when he was working with a number of large home improvement retailers and contractors as part of his online consulting business. What Zalik quickly realized was that these companies were losing billions of dollars each year in potential sales due to the fact that retail customers simply didn’t have any means of attaining instant bridge financing.
But Zalik had also been involved in the commercial real estate business for decades. He knew that one of the main ways that most commercial real estate development projects get done is through the developers’ access to frictionless and fast bridge financing. Without it, there would be few commercial real estate projects in the United States that could even get off the ground. Zalik wondered why the same sorts of instant credit facilities couldn’t be made available to retail customers. He quickly determined that the answer was that there was no good answer at all why they couldn’t.
In 2006, Zalik was able to build a high-tech interface that retailers and contractors could access in order to help customers instantly apply for loans for up to six-figure amounts. At the same time, he was able to partner with some of the largest lenders in the country. The result has been a company that now does more than $5 billion in new loans per year, helping customers get their home remodeling projects done.