If you’re not already familiar with GreenSky, you will be soon. The company has been featured on CNBC and has been ranked number 17 on CNBC’s 2017 disruptor 50 lists. For the past 5-years, CNBC has been compiling a list of private companies in various industries whose innovations are shaking up their respective industries. And for GreenSky, a company founded in 2006, to already make it on to such a prestigious list is nothing short of amazing. But why is GreenSky a disruptive brand, exactly? Well, they have managed to leverage technology to simplify the lending process in a way that traditional banks have not.
Founder and CEO David Zalik, describes GreenSky as a mobile-first company, meaning the power to secure a loan can start with the device that most consumers already own, smartphones. This revolutionary approach in lending has proven to be remarkably successful for GreenSky, which reportedly has a $3.6 billion-dollar valuation, 17,000 merchant retailers, and has 5/3rd Bank as an investor. Prior to GreenSky, the thought of applying, let alone being approved, for a loan using a mobile device was unheard of. However, that is the business model that has made GreenSky so successful.
According to Zalik, GreenSky works by partnering with a number of banks in order to streamline the lending process. Those who are seeking loans can scan their driver’s license into an app on their smartphones, enter some auxiliary data like a social security number, for example, and GreenSky will begin the credit evaluation process. Within seconds a credit decision will be made, and if approved, the terms of the loan, as well as disclosures relative to the loan, will be made available. To date, GreenSky has helped 1.2 million consumers secure loans through their mobile-first business model.
Although he never did finish college, CEO and Founder David Zalik has demonstrated his proficiency, as well as affinity, for the business world. Zalik attended Auburn University, but as MicroTech Information Systems (his first business) began to take off, he left college to devote more time to his entrepreneurial efforts, which paid off tremendously. In 1996, he sold MicroTech and launched two equally successful businesses, Outweb and Phoenix.