Bloomberg recently published a profile on David Zalik, the CEO and co-founder of the financial technology company, GreenSky Credit. The article titled “Instant Lending Made this College Dropout a Billionaire” by Peter Coy discusses the company’s CEO.
GreenSky Credit has created a business model that uses technology like mobile apps to help consumers find loans for big-ticket issues like home improvement or even healthcare like elective surgery or braces. The company has been valued at $3.6 billion and has built its wealth by helping match customers with lenders, simultaneously helping merchants close the sale. The loan is approved immediately through the app, but only for customers with acceptable FICO scores. They don’t have to pay interest or make a payment within the first 12 months.
GreenSky Credit, which Zalik founded in 2006, recently came out of the wood works and revealed that it was one of the leading financial technology companies in the U.S. The company surprised a variety of people, showing up on CB Insights, a machine intelligence platform that has real time information on startups, as the third fintech “unicorn”. GreenSky Credit is only behind Stripe and SoFi, companies that are known throughout the country.
David Zalik is the majority owner of GreenSky Credit and only appeared on the media radar as recently as his company. He does not interact with the press very often. He even turns down the opportunity to speak at large conferences, taking an opposite approach to many other Silicon Valley startups.
Zalik moved to Alabama from Israel when he was only four years old. His intelligence was quickly determined when he decided to skip high school and go directly to college. He decided on Auburn University, where his father worked. However, he quickly demonstrated that school wasn’t for him. Zalik dropped out of college when he was only 14, before many are even out of high school!
He decided to put all of his time and energy into the computer assembly company. He reveals that he simply didn’t see the value of putting out press releases or doing interviews with reporters. However, when the company landed a story in the Wall Street Journal, Zalik couldn’t avoid it.