The article “Handyman’s Helper: How GreenSky’s David Zalik Skipped School on his Way to Becoming a Billionaire”, published by Forbes, reveals GreenSky Credit’s CEO and co-founder, David Zalik didn’t need school to be successful.
David Zalik not only dropped out of college, but he skipped high school. It turns out, he didn’t need it. Zalik started attending college at the ripe age of 12, after placing so well on his standardized tests. Auburn University invited him to go to classes after seeing his scores. He attended classes for two years before he decided to drop out. Zalik decided to leave the school after founding his computer assembly company, MicroTech.
He sold the company when he was twenty-two for a few million dollars. After that, the GreenSky Credit founder went on to become a consultant for companies like Home Depot Inc. and Coca-Cola Co., where he helped them with their mobile and web development. GreenSky Credit grew out of that consulting company.
Zalik decided to create GreenSky Credit with Larry Smith in 2006, in Atlanta, Georgia. He used his own money and his own loans to launch the company since he did not want to surrender equity.
GreenSky Credit has since been ranked as a “unicorn” financial technology company by CB Insights, a machine intelligence company that provides insights into startups for angel investors. CB Insights reveals that the lending company is ranked only behind well-known companies like SoFi and Stripe. The company has since been valued at nearly $3.6 billion.
GreenSky Credit, however, isn’t competing with banks. Instead, it functions as a technological middleman between the merchants and the banks. As the merchant tries to sell a large project that a client would need a loan for, he simply scans the barcode strip on the driver’s license of his potential client. A mere thirty seconds later, not only is the client approved for a loan, but he won’t have any interest or payments for twelve months. Though they only accepting high FICO credit scores to loan, they have still been able to back nearly $12 billion in loans. The company only hopes to keep growing and sets its sights on loans of $20 billion loans by 2020.